6 Ideas to Use Video for Virtual Learning
March 17, 2020

This is the first in our new series to help you keep leadership learning going strong in the virtual learning environment.

Teaching when we aren’t face-to-face can be both fun and challenging. Video is one tool that helps us connect with students who are learning from home. Our content focus this week pulls from Habit 1, reminding us of our own powerful personal choices and that we each can choose to “carry our own weather” despite any clouds of uncertainty that might loom on the horizon.

 Consider these six ideas about how to use video to activate learning in a virtual environment:


  1. Connect with your class live online. Watch a video together using video conferencing tools like Google Hangout or Zoom, and engage in a whole class discussion.
  2. Assign videos as virtual classwork. Share video links directly with students via email or another virtual learning platform, accompanied with questions for reflection. For younger students, send links and questions directly to parents to facilitate student learning. Invite students to respond to the questions via email, Google Classroom or other virtual learning platforms. Alternatively, students can journal their thinking, draw a response, or engage in discussion with a family member. 
  3. Ask students to teach. Consider assigning a student, or student group if you are creating virtual learning groups, to teach the rest of the class about a particular concept using a video as the main teaching tool. Have students create the discussion questions for the class and a follow-up application activity based on the learning that makes it practical for them today.
  4. Collaborate with colleagues. Share videos that you have used with success with your colleagues both at your school and beyond and ask them to forward videos that have worked well for them.
  5. Invite students to Teach to Learn with their family. After modeling a video lesson for your students, invite them to reteach the lesson to any family members at home. Then, have them share with you or the class how the lesson went and any reactions they received along the way.
  6. Activate your creativity. Use your smartphone to film yourself teaching a lesson or sharing a concept in various environments. For example, go outside and dig dirt as you teach about worms and decomposition or film a lesson on fractions using a recipe in the kitchen. Seeing you in a different setting can increase student engagement.



See our lesson ideas in our Teacher Resources for Digital Learning Google Sheet (also in PDF format) which includes three video-based lesson ideas for student, staff, and family discussion. Check the tabs at the bottom of the Google Sheet for elementary, middle school, and high school versions.  

The videos can also be found below:

Student Learning: Elementary School

Habit 1: Be the Water


Student Learning: Middle School

Habit 1: Be the Water


Student Learning:High School

Habit 1: Proactive vs. Reactive


Family Learning

Carry Your Own Weather


Professional Learning

7 Habits Reflection: Choose Your Response


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