When Rabbi Yitzi Weiner looks out at the landscape from the Sharon, MA Kollel, he knows he needs to be creative in attracting and educating students. One of his favorite tools is trigger videos — showing short films addressing the myriad topics and issues in his programs, classes, discussion groups and Starbucks chavrusas. And when he makes a presentation outside of the Kollel, he brings along an affordable portable video projector equipped with sound to engage his students. The trigger videos complement his erudite text-based shiurim and offer an additional dimension that pique the students’ interest in the relevance of Judaism.
NLE Resources is happy to present a specially prepared section of links to trigger films that you can immediately utilize in your educational programming. The videos can be viewed either on nleresources.com, seen on their original site by clicking on the video title, or by right-clicking on the video title and opening the film in a separate window. You can also embed them into your own websites.
Please note that today with iPhones and digital cameras, educators are taking informal videos that can be powerful. Rabbi Shmuel Lynn began an introductory gemara shiur by passing around a video he took at a wedding where Rav Shmuel Birnbaum and Rav Shmuel Bakst (zichonam l’vracha, who were chavrusas in the Mir in Lithuania) engaged in tempestuous talmudic debate!
Rabbi Weiner shared some reasons below why trigger clips can help make your classes more engaging, memorable, and sophisticated.
1. IT WILL MAKE YOUR CLASSES MORE ENGAGING
We know that when students are engaged they learn better. When they are asked questions and challenged to think, people think critically and process the material in a deeper way. The more enjoyable the classes are, the more likely a student will return for future classes.
2. IT WILL MAKE YOUR CLASES MORE MEMORABLE
Film can be very impactful, and often leaves a more permanent impression than speech alone. When you use multimedia, the classes will be remembered better. When your students think about your classes a few weeks later it is likely that they will remember the clip that you have shown.
3. IT WILL MAKE THE TEACHER LOOK MORE SOPHISTICATED
When a teacher comes prepared with a multimedia clip to enhance his or her presentation, it makes the teacher appear more prepared and sophisticated. This makes the teacher stand out from the crowd, and may encourage the student to continue attending that teacher’s classes.
4. PEOPLE LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS
People learn in different ways. Some people are audio learners; others are visual learners. When the teacher presents a variety of different media types to convey the information, the teacher ensures that he or she is making an impact on all learning types.
5. HUMOROUS CLIPS CAN DISARM PEOPLE
Some of the trigger clips below are humorous. As the gemara notes, an effective pedagogical technique is to begin a class with humor. Students may often come into a class with strong defense mechanisms – this can be especially true in an outreach setting. Showing a humorous clip lightens the air, and creates a friendly environment that is more conducive for open and frank discussion.
6. ENTERTAINING & STIMULATING
Finally, the clips themselves can make the class more entertaining, stimulate discussion, and encourage future participation from the students.
The NLE Resources trigger films can be found here.