Using Videos to Motivate and Teach


Phones, cameras, and video recorders are cheaper and easier to use than ever before. Most people have cell phones with them all the time and this can be a valuable learning tool. Below are a few ways to use videos for motivation and instruction.


1.  Providing Favorite Rewards - Videos are a great alternative to rewarding children with food or toys.  Videos aren't high in calories like food. Videos last a specific amount of time so you don't have to remove a reward, and videos can be readily available on an adult's phone or other device. Just like adults, children have individual interests and motivators. Create short videos to use as rewards. Examples of things to film: A family pet; Mom, dad, and grandparents all saying 'Great job!'; The child dancing, waving, or doing something they enjoy; A sibling singing a favorite song.   If a child is learning a new skill they may be very motivated by someone filming them counting to ten correctly, folding their own clothes, or saying hello to a neighbor. 


2. Preparing for New Situations - New classrooms, schools, camps, or places in the community can make children nervous. Use videos of places and new people to prepare children for changes or new activities. Review videos regularly to help familiarize children.


3.  Learning New Functional Skills - Video modeling uses a video of the task being performed correctly to teach skills. Videos can be of other people (e.g. parent, sibling or peer) or of the child (self-modeling) completing the skill. When creating a video, break a skill into small steps (e.g. brushing teeth requires opening the toothpaste, getting the tooth brush, putting tooth paste on the toothbrush, etc.) and show each step performed correctly. Creating the videos often means filming a number of versions of the video then splicing pieces together to make one continuous video. Children can watch the video before they practice the activity. Pause the video and rewind as necessary. 


From: Taking Care of Me


4. Demonstrating Social Skills - In the same way other new skills can be taught, social skills can be demonstrated with videos. Breaking skills into steps and teaching specific responses is one way to teach greetings, good-byes, and other interactions. Videos also can be used to discuss and role play responses to different situations. For example, film a clip of a family member or classmate dropping things they are carrying. Use the video to discuss how the person feels and what can be said and done to help them. 


5. Creating Literacy and Communication Activities - Let children film a short clip then talk or write about what they filmed. The clip can be of something they are learning to do, a place they enjoy, or a mini movie. Children love using 'adult' things and videos are a fun way to promote literacy and communication.




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