Video Modeling, A Better Way (Ep 158)

best special education resources online special education resources resources for special education teachers resources for special needs parents special education resources Nov 09, 2022

Special Education Parents and Teachers, have you ever popped on a video hoping that you could just catch a few minutes to get something done while your child or your students are entertained by something educational? I've been there too!

Let me show you a better way to use video modeling for mastery of skills!


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Transcript Summary: 

Parents and Teachers,  Have you ever popped on a video hoping that you could just catch a few minutes while your child or your students are entertained by something educational? I've been there too. 

Let's talk about a better way that we can use video for learning today on the Special Education Inner Circle podcast. I'm your host, Catherine Whitcher, and I cannot wait to introduce you to Gemiini, which is a really cool resource when it comes to videos and education.


So as I was looking for some solutions for some of our struggles like staff shortages or not having therapies readily available at all times during school, or just being able to use technology in a more accessible way. We’re looking all the time to help truly build a free and appropriate public education that prepares a child for further education, employment, and independent living, right? That's the purpose of an IEP, and sometimes we're limiting our tools or our scope of what we're looking for when it comes to supporting those desired outcomes. 

Now, I know that we would all love to have more therapies. We'd love to have speech therapy every day. That's not going to happen in our school system.


But what if we could use a resource that could be customized to reinforce what we're learning in speech therapy? What if we could truly use video modeling to make a difference without just saying, “I'm going to pop on a video because I need to grab a few minutes”, but I'm going to use this video for structured teaching. 

Let me share with you what the concept is for discrete video modeling. I'm just going to highlight a few things that I know would've made a huge difference for me as a teacher and I’ll share with you a mom’s perspective, too!


Discrete video modeling is a really simple concept that you're going to love. So when we put on a video, a lot of times we have a lot of distractions in that video. We have really fun backgrounds that are entertaining, or we have multiple storylines going on. If there are characters involved, there are plot twists and language being used that may be at all different levels, and we're not really sure if we put on this video that's going to talk about phonics or that's going to talk about addition… Are we really learning that skill or is this video just entertaining.

With discrete video modeling, we take away all of the distractions of other things, and we're truly focused on the skill that we're looking to target. 


Right now, if you are watching this on YouTube or Facebook that you can see in the background here, I have cars that are passing by that are outside my window that might be distracting to you. It might be entertaining to you to watch the cars go by while you're listening to this podcast. But if I truly wanted you to focus only on the concept that I was teaching, I would make sure that there was no distraction in the background at all. So this is not discrete video modeling. This is just a general video where I'm teaching you something, right? So there's a difference between isolating a skill and then having it placed within a lot of distractions. So just know that that's what we're talking about when we say discrete video modeling.


It's also really important that when we're using video modeling that we are meeting a child where they're at when we're presenting something. It's not a one size fits all. 

We know that in special education we cannot do one size fits all. So that's something that Gemiini has that's really unique. They actually have this language pyramid, which I think I'll have to do another episode on the language pyramid because that is something that's a little bit more in-depth and I love it. With the language pyramid you can find out where your child or your student is at on their language pyramid, and then you can pick videos that have already been correlated to that level. Take out the guesswork! Yes, please! 

We need to always make sure that we have videos and skills that align with where the child is at in their language development.


Now, a lot of times in our language development that we see in special education, we see different levels Watch the video above and use this link to see how Gemiini allows you to access multiple levels of instruction for one student. 


But here's what I love. Ready? I love that you can create your own videos and put them into the Gemiini system for your child and/or student, and you can track data in relation to your own videos!  See more about Gemiini here.

I'm always talking about how are we going to customize things such as a transition for a child from elementary to middle school, or a transition into a new classroom, or a transition into meeting new people.


People, places, and things, customized with your own videos for mastery is exciting!

It’s perfect for job training, too. This is not just for younger students. My brother is 45 years old with Down syndrome, and he's had several different jobs in his last 20 years, and learning how to clock in is different at every job. What if he would've had videos that he could have on his own phone, that the staff could have recorded, and then he could have just watched them and prepared at home? With data and mastery tracking!


I know in my heart as his sister, he would've learned that process faster. It's the same thing for rolling silverware. He would've learned that faster if he would've had something that he could truly isolate that skill and then watch that over and over. We didn't use that, but we absolutely should in the future!


You don’t always have to be fancy and customize your own videos for discrete video modeling.

I absolutely love everything that is pre-planned within Gemiini for you and the data collection and mastery tools are stellar. So much better than just an iphone or Youtube video that you allow a child to watch over and over.


It’s time for us to get serious about using research based tools, with data, and customization to always meet a child where they are at.  

We are struggling through many different things in our school system from staff shortages to lack of resources, to having consistency between home and school. And that's exactly why I'm looking for resources like Gemiini, because I want you to have the best of the best. 

A mom’s point of view: So when I was talking to this mom and I was asking her, Why did you pick Gemiini? Why are you working with them? She said that her daughter has Down Syndrome, and she at age seven was watching the Leap Frog videos over and over and over.

She really wished that her child could have speech therapy every day, but that's just not reasonable. So she sees Gemiini and she decides, let me just give it a try. 

She's been using this for seven years. Her daughter's now 14. So this is something that has grown with her daughter.

Long-term solutions are so good! We find a lot of things that work quickly that feel like Band-Aid fixes like, but what if you could get out of whatever the struggle is you're having right now when it comes to direct instruction or teaching something over and over and over and making sure there's mastery using along term solution?


And that's what this mom was able to do, and that's what was so just attractive to me as a special needs sibling and as a teacher. Let's stop saying, I think this will work for a while, and then we'll figure it out. What if we have something that's going to work long-term?

I'm going to encourage you that if you've been looking for something where you can direct teach skills and you're looking for maybe some videos and some support in making sure that we're getting mastery in skills and you know that you need something research-based and it needs to collect data, and you need consistency between home and school, I want to encourage you to go check out Gemiini.

One more thing… I also want to encourage you that if you've been thinking about becoming a Master IEP Coach® go here and see our upcoming events both online and in person! We are the ONLY training program for ALL members of the IEP team. Parents, Teachers, Admins, and Therapists, this is for you! LOOK HERE




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