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Working Together: Students Teaching Students

Digital Media in the Classroom

Top 10 Videos and Podcasts Illustrating Students Teaching Students Through the Use of VideoTop 10 Videos and Podcasts Illustrating Students Teaching Students Through the Use of Video

The power and accessibility of video has created new opportunities for our students. It’s a simple fact. I see amazing video examples everyday. Kindergarten through college students are finding and utilizing ways to teach each other through all forms of technology, most notably video, rather than sitting back waiting to be taught by someone else.

I talk a lot about the power of video and media literacy in my blogs, but this particular topic, students teaching students through video, is one that may be closest to my heart.

I witness my students impacting others through video everyday. And, I have been fortunate enough to make connections with other educators and students around the world to learn how they are teaching each other about any relevant topic we all encounter in our schools.

It’s really important to understand that the process that students undertake to make a video is incredibly invaluable AND aligned with the Common Core State Standards of media and digital literacy.

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Therefore, I decided to compile the top 10 videos and podcasts I have in my library illustrating the power of students teaching students through video.

10. Connecticut Film Festival

Film festivals are a wonderful way any school can screen and highlight the video projects your students create. In the state of Connecticut, they go all out! Learn more on this iDig Video podcast on EdReach produced by my good friends Jonathan Furst and James Crawford.

9. Copyright Court Cases Screencast

Often students do not understand copyright laws and what they are legally allowed to utilize for school projects or personal use. In this lesson, I have student partners create a Keynote Presentation on specific national court cases involving copyright infringement, lawsuits, and ethical dilemmas. Then, using QuickTime Screen Capture, the students record themselves delivering the presentation on video and we watch as a class.

8. Scales in Elevators

Mr. Dan Fullerton is a one-of-a-kind Physics teacher that I was fortunate enough to connect with on Twitter. The ways Mr. Fullerton and his students utilize video and technology to learn the inner workings of physics are inspiring. Check out some of Mr. Fullteron’s amazing students and learn from their site

7. I Am Art

Who would ever think that elementary students could combine music, with art, with video and so much more, to learn about the world around them? Tricia Fuglestad, that’s who! This inspirational teacher allows her students the opportunity to truly examine life in many different ways. I don’t personally know Tricia, other than through our Twitter connection, but Twitter is a funny phenomenon. You never know how the circle of life will impact us.

6. The Twitter Experiment

Indiana is the home of Franklin County School District. And in that district, there is a teacher with some big ideas. Don Wettrick decided to have his students learn real-life lessons, through the real-life applications of video and social media. This project is the epitome of what all educators should strive to include in their 21st Century classrooms.

5. Redefining Public Education

I always have to smile when I see former video students and the work they create when they enter college. For one of my former students Abby Sophir, her experience in the Park Scholar Program at Ithaca College, has proven to be life-altering. Abby and one of her classmates have decided to take their passion for video, and tell the stories that go untold. I couldn’t be more proud.

4. First Grade Podcasts

Rich Colosi is a first grade teacher who knows the importance of introducing technology to students at a young age. Although many of Rich’s videos are private on his site, I was lucky enough to meet Rich a couple of years ago and interview him for a documentary I created. Take a look at the 1:10 mark of this video to learn how Rich truly empowers his young learners.

3.  Learning History Through Video

Two Advanced Placement teachers at my high school decided to give their students a research-based documentary project to interactively study a time period in American history. Students constructed and presented that focus on the time period between 1812 and 1860 in United States history. Students worked in groups of 4-5 to produce a 10-minute documentary that centers on a particular theme.  Documentaries incorporated interviews, reenactments, short dramas, etc.  Projects were assessed on creativity, professionalism and attention to historical scholarship 

* Bonus (I can never squeeze in 10 in a top 10!)

Anatomy Project

In another fabulous example within my school, Science teacher Monica Bowman was ready to move on from traditional presentation methods. In Mrs. Bowman’s anatomy class, students quantitatively measured two human skeletons to determine the sex, approximate age at death, approximate height, and other forensic features.  The students generated a video summarizing their findings, which were posted on The videos were analyzed by the Chair of the Forensic Anthropology Program at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Dawnie Wolfe Steadman, for their accuracy.  Each student group then had to present their findings via a videoconference to Dr. Steadman in front of the other groups of students involved in this project.  Students were graded on their presentation, accuracy of measurements, and group interactions.

2. Cooperative Learning

This educational concept teaches students to hold each other accountable while working together in a group setting. Teacher Christopher Tully has mastered this form of teaching and learning, and his classes are shining examples of his vision. In addition, the soft skills Mr. Tully’s students learn, such as time management, following directions, and working well together in a team, are evident. Listen for yourself.

1. The Magic of Lending a Hand

In one of the most inspirational student videos I have watched in quite some time, the back-story is what makes this video even more powerful. According to Mr. Carl Hooker, the teacher behind this student masterpiece, “What started as a story-project, evolved into a poem, then a song, then a video. The power of kids.” Indeed, the power of kids and the #powerofvideo. Enjoy this one folks. These kids are going places!

Having all of these resources published to the web has been such an incredible resource to improve my teaching. And I firmly believe that by utilizing student-generated video as at least one component of our thoughtful lesson plans we can continue to engage our students in ways that we will all find extremely valuable. 

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