New York Loves Tech


Statewide Study Finds Video In Teaching And Learning
A Valuable New Instructional Resource

Syracuse, NY (January 28, 2009) — A growing initiative among teachers to incorporate new technologies with traditional instructional methods is emerging throughout classrooms in New York State. The experimental application of PBS Channel Thirteen/WNET’s Video In Teaching And Learning (VITAL) revealed teachers’ interest to enhance student learning with technology, according to a report released by Hezel Associates, an education research firm.

Teachers’ confidence with VITAL increased through continuous use, where participants expanded and personalized their use of VITAL in lessons as time passed. Surveys also noted increased attention and learning enhancement from students during VITAL lessons.

The report details the final year’s results of a three-year study involving 146 elementary teachers in New York State, where half of participants used VITAL in the classroom. Throughout the course of the year, teachers’ use of VITAL often evolved from an introductory and review method to innovatively presenting the main lesson’s content to students. This trend suggests a growing integration of traditional and technological teaching techniques in classrooms, as well as a positive response to VITAL from students and teachers.

Results from a participant survey revealed that nearly three-quarters of teachers believe incorporating video makes a lesson more effective for student learning. Over the course of a year, educators developed increased confidence for using videos to improve retention of learned skills (from 59.7 percent to 72.9 percent), where 70 percent of participants also reported that video improves retention of student content knowledge.

Teachers’ confidence in using VITAL clips increased throughout the third year of the study (from 79 percent to 94.2 percent). Participants indicated particular strengths of the VITAL clips, most notably their capacity to address more complex concepts (91.3 percent) and curriculum content (94.4 percent).

Study results also suggest ongoing use of VITAL increased teacher confidence with the resources throughout continued participation in the study. For example, second-year VITAL users were more likely than first-year users to deviate from the standard VITAL activities by modifying instructions or questions on worksheets. This confidence translated into enhanced lesson plans, where teachers began using VITAL to first cover introductory and review materials, then eventually main lesson content.

Teachers also reported positive responses from students when using VITAL in the classroom, which encouraged continued and more frequent use. Survey results revealed almost all participants believed video makes a lesson more appealing to students and conveys concepts in ways that more traditional methods cannot. Participants noted several benefits to using VITAL with students, including a new way to present a topic; providing a real-life example; lesson enhancement; and increased student interest, engagement or motivation.

For further details about Hezel Associates’ VITAL study, visit

VITAL is a cooperative effort between The Grow Network/McGraw-Hill, Thirteen/WNET New York, Educational Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology, and Hezel Associates to deliver optimum educational resources that help teachers meet their commitment to the goals of No Child Left Behind. Funding for VITAL was secured through grant submission to and approval by the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.

Hezel Associates, headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y., provides research, evaluation, and strategic services to national and international clients in education, technology, publishing, and business. The firm has earned a distinguished reputation for its state-level program evaluations and research in teacher professional development and distance education. Education leaders and policymakers throughout U.S. and across the world rely on rely on Hezel Associates’ strategic recommendations to inform decisions, to create actionable strategies, and to plan for change. For further information about Hezel Associates, visit

PBS Channel Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers of public television to audiences nationwide. Thirteen reaches millions of views each week and extends the impact of its television productions with educational and community outreach projects—including the creation of educational software and other cutting-edge media products. For further information about PBS Channel Thirteen/WNET New York, visit

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