Saturday, February 11, 2017

Enhance Learning with Effective Teacher and Student Made Videos & Video Tutorials

After reading...

*Access a Google Slides presentation with active links and more ideas on this topic; work in progress)
*Download this checklist handout, copy and modify as needed. Version 1. Version 2. (thank you, Rushton Hurley)
*Link here to a video playlist of tutorials.
*See a list of benefits for teachers and students below, and a short “how to” approach.

While I agree that we should make an effort to figure things out for ourselves, I don’t completely buy into the argument that video tutorials are a crutch or lazy way to learning. I believe that student-made tutorials can demonstrate learning and communication skills, as well as creativity. Teachers as well can differentiate learning by creating or using online tutorials. Additionally, I believe that students want to hear from their peers. (this isn’t to say that they don’t appreciate the classroom teacher) As for the teacher, resources provided by excellent organizations such as Khan Academy and TEd-Ed are truly valuable, but sometimes we want a specific point highlighted (which can of course be done with video quiz platforms like Zaption or by making your own Google Forms).

Carefully crafted activities (or assessments) can lead to students creating some very powerful learning materials, generated by students. Of course, the teacher should be guiding and monitoring student research and progress. (including confirmation that students have the correct information, copyright obligations are honoured, and credit or citation is given when necessary)

Try not to forget that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and sometimes simple is all you need to get learning happening! Here is an example of two EAL students demonstrating their learning with a quick and easy screencast. They demonstrate character relationships in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Lysander and Demetrius using a document camera, paper/pencils, their voices, and stick people! (screencast with Quicktime)

First, what am I talking about? Have a look at these examples my students made in the 2015-2016 academic year. (in this case hosted on Next Vista for Learning - more on this educational NPO below)

Shield Volcanoes (stop motion animation)

These examples aren’t flawless in terms of production, but are excellent examples of strong research, citation, and planning of a final product. These were part of an assessment in a Grade 8 Social Studies class, with a secondary piece in which they were submitted to Next Vista for Learning, an educational NPO based in California.

Screencasting with some Google Chrome extensions (Screencastify, Nimbus, Loom, Awesome Screenshot, or Screencast Recording by or Apple’s Quicktime, or iPad apps such as Vittle, are quick and effective. (depending on what you want to achieve) They are so simple, in fact, that your students can be making simple videos to demonstrate learning or to create tutorials for other student. The following video tutorials on will help you out. (note: Vittle iPad app tutorial coming soon, along with others)

Upon reading Dive Into Inquiry (2016), by Trevor MacKenzie (for purchase at Amazon or the EdTechTeam) the discussion on students creation of an “authentic piece” prompted this blog post. For the last couple of years I have had students create tutorial videos as an assignment, as well as presenting on the topic at EdTech events. These thoughts come from that. (and I’ll likely post again!)

Just a few more thoughts:

Video Ideas
  • Children’s Storybook Readings
  • Children’s Picture Book Readings
  • How to Solve a Math Problem
  • Teaching a Grammar Point
  • Choose Your Own Adventure (admittedly a big job)
  • Explain a science process
  • Explain & record a drawing or diagram
  • Green Screening
  • Describe characters in a story or novel
  • 360 Degree Video Tours (if you can afford the camera)

Teacher Benefits
  • Supports flipped classrooms more time to discuss difficult content in class
  • Allow students to learn at their own pace
  • Teach students when you’re absent
  • Give basic instructions (ie) PE demonstration, pronunciation
  • Wide range of learning styles addressed (audio, visual)
  • Interactivity: embed them in a Google Form as a quiz to determine learning (or other interactive video programs such as Zaption)
  • Share with parents and gain parent support at home

  • have voice and agency
  • create content for an authentic audience
  • demonstrate learning
  • learn from their peers (sample why they love it)
  • learn the importance of words, images, sound
  • can collaborate or be independent
  • become motivated
  • build self-confidence and pride in their finished product
  • leave a record of their learning
  • can share with the world

Skills developed…
  • research, analysis, synthesis
  • citation & accountability
  • critical thinking and metacognition
  • oral communication
  • written communication
  • storyboarding and storytelling
  • creativity and design
  • digital and social media use
  • problem solving
  • creation skills
  • empathy (explaining so that others understand)

  • Have a plan
  • Choose your tools: have the resources and materials ready
  • Take the video
  • Edit audio and video (common to use a second video editor, such as iMovie or Camstasia)
  • Determine if you want to be branded or not (a good idea so students recognize you over time, and to build your network; pr so that the class has a brand that new and old parents and students can follow and contribute to)
  • Make it public on the web (YouTube, Vimeo, your own website - include credits, further learning, links)

*Final note: using video in the classroom is growing more and more common, though naturally depends on the resources available to schools and students. Resources and access will be addressed in another future blog post.


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