The Power of Video

As many teachers across the country, I wanted to take time out of the normal schedule to remember the events of September 11th eight years ago. Many of you realized,like I did, that lesson I presented today looked different than it did just a few years ago. For me that event occurred during my first year of teaching and I was located at a small elementary school right on the Maryland/D.C. boundary. There are so many moments from that day that are still vivid in my mind and in the minds of the students I was teaching at the time. For those students this was a day to recount those memories and share them to feel the same connection they felt eight years ago as we united as a country.

Now those students have moved on and there are new faces today. The students in my room were only in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade when those terrible events took place. Most memories shared were the students recalling the reactions of their teachers and parents, but no real idea of what took place. Students wanted to know more information so they could really understand what happened. Of course in a computer lab it would be easy to find information, but not always appropriate or accurate information of September 11th.  That is when I had them shut their computer monitors off and I shared clips from DE Streaming. What happened as the lights went down amazed me…

All of my middle school students were completely silent and engaged as they watched the clips. Their eyes got big as they watched the screen and even when the lights came back on there was a respectful quiet as they digested everything they had seen. They shared their thoughts, asked questions, and we had a meaningful discussion. I know the lesson would not have been the same without the video. Today made me realize the power that video has over text and audio to capture an audience and explain events the viewer never experienced before. Today was a good lesson for my students about September 11th and good lesson for me to remember to take the time to incorporate video into my lessons.


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