Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Teaching Tip - Engaging with Media

What strategies do you use to engage your students and grab their attention?

An increasingly popular means of hooking your students is through the use of multimedia and technology.  

Years ago I went to a Summer Science Conference offered in my county where I was introduced to United Streaming.  The name has now changed to Discovery Education.

This resource blew my mind!  Discovery Education gave me access to video clips, full videos, photographs, and other forms of media for so many different subjects!  I found it especially useful when it came to Science and Social Studies which I had limited resources for.  I was able to give my students visuals for concepts that I previously had to describe with my own words and illustrate myself (not the best means of explaining with my skill set!).  Naturally, the students loved it!  Finding information in manageable bits created for their level of understanding was incredible!  I use the resources offered here to introduce topics, dive deeper, and review as well.  Sometimes I use a video we have already watched at the end of the unit and give the students a graphic organizer or some sort of response form to complete in order to review.  The kids are engaged . . . and they're learning!  It really seems to stick.

Of course such a gem of a resource wasn't completely easily accessible because you need a pass code to set up your own account to retrieve these resources.  Lo and behold - one of my instructors told me that every school in our county had its own pass code so their teachers could access it!  Well why hadn't anyone ever told me about this before????

If you've never heard of or tried using Discovery Education before ask your media specialist or administration if your school has a pass code for it.  If not, it's definitely a resource worth your school's investment!  I've passed this information on to my coworkers year after year ever since I found out about it.  

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