How to use videos while teaching remotely?

How to use videos while teaching remotely?

Teachers have always been using videos to engage English language learners, but now more than ever it is has become an essential tool to truly motivate learning. While we are teaching remotely, the reasons behind why videos are important in education continue to be just as important. We traditionally use videos to engage students in and out of the classroom and through multimedia catch their attention. Nowadays, video can be a critical way of connecting with students despite the social distancing restrictions, and now as some schools return to the classrooms under different models, it can continue to be of great support for teachers and students. In this article, we’ll revisit the benefits of teaching and learning through videos. 

Teaching through videos allows students to: 

  1. Have access to on-demand, bite-sized microlearning experiences. You can create a library of videos in a simple Google Drive shared file, a Google Classroom, or Edmodo. Although, you could also use platforms like English Central to create your classrooms and edit videos to include questions for your students. If you’re a school and are interested in know more about English Central, contact us
  2. Increase their interaction and engagement with the content. Teaching remotely opens the door to using creative strategies to get students engaged, but at the same time ensures accountability of the tasks at hand depending on the tools you use.
  3. Access for multi-device learning such as computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Especially with the evident digital divide that has surfaced due to the pandemic, we as teachers should consider that videos are an easy way to reach students, granted that it’s still important to consider connectivity. 

Now, let’s consider how we can prepare videos for our lessons. 

  1. Keep it short. Use segments or clips. Use video segments to maintain your students’ attention as well as 
  2. Connect with the target language and align with the lesson objective. Even though videos can be fun, it’s also important to make sure they are aligned to your target objective and language to ensure students can use this opportunity to continue learning and reinforcing the language.
  3. Allow active learning with the right tools. Selecting the right tools will depend on a great variety of factors such as your students access to devices and connectivity, the skill targeted in the activity (vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, etc.), or the aim of the content of the lesson (inform, explain, etc.)
  4. Use videos to connect with students. Teachers can create videos to make short instructional or explanation videos to connect more with students while teaching remotely. 

Apps to use videos while teaching remotely. 

A tool to create interactive video activities and keep track of your students’ responses and progress. 

  • Always free, forever.
  • Templates for quick content creation.
  • Access to free premade content library.
  • Detailed analytics to understand when learners are succeeding or struggling.
  • Unlimited bulbs can be built per month.
  • 100 free learner attempts per month. That means that 100 individuals can make a single attempt once per month, that one individual can make 100 attempts per month, or anything in-between.

Use TED videos as well as from other platforms to create staged out video lessons where students can participate actively. 

  • Teachers can customize a video. 
  • Tracks progress
  • Share via email or links
  • Use different sections of the video lesson to expand students’ comprehension and knowledge of the topic.  

iSL Collective

(Video lessons)

Use this website to edit already made video lessons or make your video quizzes to share and grade your students’ progress. 

  • Create an ESL popup quiz around any Youtube or Vimeo video in minutes.
  • Generate a vocabulary quiz with YouTube videos. 
  • Generate a grammar quiz using Youtube videos. 
  • Customize your quizzes.
  • Track answers and progress 

This Chrome extension embeds an interactive element to your Youtube videos and Netflix series and movies. 

  • Subtitles are shown in two languages, allowing you to compare the original audio and text with a translation in your language.
  • The extension allows you to listen to subtitles one at a time, and to change the playback speed.
  • There’s a pop-up dictionary, and the extension suggests the most important words for you to learn.

You can record your screen and video to make tutorial videos for your students. It’s very easy to make.

  • Add text, emoji, ink, and custom images
  • Toggle-on whiteboard/ blackboard mode
  • Create a stop-motion sequence (with pause/record)
  • Upload videos from your camera roll
  • Screen record
  • Trim, rotate and rearrange clips

Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for PreK to Ph.D. educators, learners, and families. Create a Topic and engage your community…together!

  • Videos up to 10 minutes long
  • Unlimited projects
  • 2GB of storage space
  • Unlimited downloads
  • 720p export quality 
  • Auto subtitles


Gómez Ramírez

Making your students’ lives easier while remote teaching

Although teahcers may indeed be struggling while they are implementing emergency remote teaching strategies, they are not alone. Students are also having to digest quite a bit, as well as facing the crisis itself. 

So, why not find ways to make this transition a bit easier on them as well. Here are some ideas: 

1.Make a cheat sheet

Create a one to two-page cheat sheet where students can find all of the most important information for your course. By using a cheat sheet, your students can easily find the information they need and not feel lost between emails, links, platforms, etc. 

Download our template for a remote teaching cheat sheet. 

2.Chunk lessons 

Remote teaching is a different kind of learning environment and we should consider the content that we are expecting our students to learn. The chunking strategy refers to breaking down information into smaller pieces so the brain can process and understand them more easily. This strategy is especially important in any kind of online learning environment since it allows for a logical and progressive way of navigating the course. When chunking you can implement some different techniques and strategies to continuously check concepts like chunk-challenge-chew-chat-check. 

3. Group work and collaboration

Even though you are teaching remotely you can still promote collaboration and group work in your lessons. These can be either synchronous or asynchronous.

  • Breakout rooms in Zoom to have students work in smaller groups or even pairs. 
  • Use shared documents to have students work together outside of the live session. 
  • Give students different roles and responsibilities for an activity so each can work individually but then piece everything together during the live session. 
  • Pair project work- Design a project where students can work together to complete the different stages either together or collaboratively. The students should present progress checks and report to the teacher. 

4. Use video and audio clips (multimedia) 

Students are used to having a teacher explain to them, so using these to explain instructions can bring you closer to them and promote a better understanding of the tasks, remember to give examples when necessary. As for student work, students can put their 21st-century skills to the test  while recording, editing, and sharing videos or audios. 


For more information on how to teach post-Covid check out our COVID-19 takeways highlights on our YouTube Channel.

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