Effectiveness of Science Videos

I share a lot of science education videos on this blog- a lot! And I have never taken the time to discuss how I might use the video clips with students or, more importantly, asked YOU how you intend to use or did use a video with students. As an initial step in remedying this oversight I would like to get the conversation started with the video embedded below (or HERE) of Derek Muller (of Veritasium fame) discussing his thoughts regarding science videos such as those provided by Khan Academy.

If you are not familiar with Khan Academy you should take a couple of minutes and preview a video. The tools on Khan Academy have been gaining much momentum of late. (See my post on Khan Academy from 2009 HERE.)

After watching the video please also read Derek’s accompanying text on his original blog post HERE.

So, what do you think about Derek’s ideas? How do you currently use science videos to support student understanding (or your own understanding of science concepts)? Will you do anything differently or look for different types of videos after watching the clip below?

One response to “Effectiveness of Science Videos

  1. Very interesting video and comments here by Derek Muller. I actually just found out about the Kahn Academy last week when talking with a mathematics colleague she suggested I look it over and I was intrigued by the array of science instructional videos, and frankly the depth of the content on the site.

    I have to agree with Derek here especially after reflecting upon my own recent learning experiences in science immersion environments. The data presented by Derek clearly reminds me of the 3 three key findings in How People Learn, and the necessity of engaging a learners initial understandings about a topic at the beginning of the learning cycle. This allows the learner to consider actually “what do they think” and to helps to increase the possibility adding the new knowledge into their preexisting schema. When you consider how emotionally attached we are to our initial ideas (preconceptions), you understand why simply telling or showing a correct scientific explanation doesn’t always help us build a new and more correct explanation. We need to be confronted with first- hand, concrete experiences that provide evidence to counter our initial beliefs and even then we can be reluctant to except new ideas. The learners in the video only had substantial learning gains when they were confronted with misconceptions that potentially mirrored their own, and then reported an added level of rigor and confusion related to the instructional videos- but still an increase in overall learning. I think this nicely illustrates the stress created by cognitive dissonance, and the necessity to engage learners where they are in an attempt to build new knowledge

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