Use pictures, videos, and multimedia to increase engagement and students with online learning

We spoke with Amanda Mendenhall about multimedia's effect on her 7th grade geography students. Amanda finds that adding pictures and videos to assignments increases engagement, with leads to higher achievement. She does this by using the TeacherMade app.

How do you use TeacherMade?

My name is Amanda Mendenhall, and I teach 7th grade Geography. I have been using the TeacherMade program for the past two years in the class. I have just begun to familiarize myself with embedding multimedia into my assignments for my students. I have only done this once or twice because I didn't begin working on it until the end of the school year. 

How do you add multimedia and videos to online worksheets?

Multimedia can be added to any assignments for the students. I began with short videos that were embedded into our textbook. This allowed me to reinforce the concepts of the lesson from the textbook. I make sure that the students watched the most important videos in our textbook. I could then ask the students questions from the video. I also found that if a question was challenging, allowing the students access to where the answer could be located in the video would allow them to rewatch the video multiple times without having to toggle between different screens. You can add different types of multimedia to your assignments, including videos, photos, links to other pdfs, recordings, and SO MUCH MORE. If you can imagine doing it to keep your students engaged, you can add it to any worksheet. 

How does multimedia on digital worksheets help with achievement?

Multimedia embedded in the worksheet will allow most children to be excited to complete something that may not be so exciting. I plan to do more embedding of multimedia in the future. I think you can add videos that will enhance the concept or provide additional information. I believe you could add self-help videos as well to these assignments. Also, you can add songs to help with a concept. Such as, when I teach about a country speaking a different language, I could embed a song being sung in that language. Allowing the students to hear a foreign language reinforces our cultures' differences.

You can also add different or more interesting photos to a worksheet. I will add pictures of varying country flags to my map assignment to help my students with this concept. I can add links to different websites that they can use to help them learn more about a country. I can attach maps to the worksheet to help my students remember what maps we are looking at in the textbook, allowing them to use one screen instead of toggling between multiple screens. I really do not see a limit to the possibilities of adding multimedia to any assignment. 

How do multimedia assignments help with engagement?

Having the capabilities of using multimedia in assignments I have already created is AMAZING! I am so thankful for the idea and the ability to do this without recreating the wheel again. I think as teachers, we know that we must always entertain our students to help them REALLY learn a concept. I know this will help me do this in the future. I still remember songs my elementary teachers taught me to remember the parts of speech. Hopefully, being able to embed multimedia into the assignments I am giving will do this for my students. I believe that the more a teacher can "entertain" a student, the more impact the teacher will have on teaching the concept they are trying to drive home. So when you find a video you like but are afraid you won't remember what it is by the time you teach the concept, you can embed it into the assignment, so it doesn't get lost. Endless possibilities.

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