We have so many great things happening in education!
This week's challenge comes from my friend Rushton Hurley. Rushton is the founder and executive director of a neat little site called Next Vista for Learning. When I contacted Rushton to be a part of this Educator Learning Series, he was all in! And I must say, I absolutely love this week's challenge that he's created for you.
As a teacher, once I started incorporating more video into my class it really energized things. Now I'm not just talking about videos I found online. I'm talking about when I started creating videos for my students, but even more so when my students started creating their own videos to share with the world!
And this challenge is great regardless of what subject or grade you teach! I often hear teachers who teach the youngest of our children talk about "how do I make this work for my little ones". The funny thing is those kids often make the best videos! Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try something new!
So without further ado, Rushton's Challenge intro video is HERE, and the rest of the challenge is below.
The first thing to know is that all of these videos (the linked item in each paragraph) are short. Really short. As in, don't blink; you might miss them.
There are all sorts of ways a video can help one learn something. Sometimes they mix rather traditional instruction with clever tweaks to make them more memorable, like this high school math one.
Other times, a teacher has worked with a class to tell a story so that the involvement of the students helps them better learn the ideas. This one, by students at an elementary school in Nebraska in the United States, shows the teacher's focus on helping the students improve their reading skills.
Videos don't need to include students on camera. What's important is that the visuals, however they are gathered, support the ideas to be conveyed. In this video, a teacher uses toys to tell a history lesson about Peter the Great of Russia.
Even when using footage, a video can be shot so that the person in it isn't identifiable. In this piece, a child explains how to tie a shoe, and the camera never shows his face. Note the shadow of the friend as you watch it.
In all of the videos so far, the goal is to explain something clearly and creatively. Next Vista runs contests three times a year in which we invite teachers and students to creatively explain something one might encounter in school in 90 seconds or less. However, there is plenty more that students can learn through media projects.
We require that when students submit videos for our site, they use Creative Commons-licensed music or images from specified sites. Click here to see the guidelines for sources and citations for the current contest, Creative Expression.
We also challenge students to get to know charities in their communities and tell their stories in short videos. The idea is to help them better understand the joy and meaning that come from helping others. In this video, a team of boys tell the story of a special division of a local little league.
Sometimes teachers want to create a set of videos for a particular audience. In this case, the video is part of a set created by a group of Year 5 students in Birmingham, England, designed to help the youngest children at the school learn the alphabet.
Finally, it's important to know that video can help a child tell his or her story in especially powerful ways. In this case, a teacher asked his middle school students to create a video telling how they see the world. One student, Michael, created a video that might help your students better understand some of their peers.
Part 3 (optional)
The goal with these videos has been to help you think of different ways your students might use videos they watch or create to make their learning more memorable. As I often say, when students know others will see their work, they want it to be good. When it is just for the teacher, they want it to be good enough.
There are lots of tools students can use to create videos, even if they don't have anything more than an old laptop with a microphone. Even if you have no tech at your school, simply asking students to design a video and submit a script can be a creative way to get them to think through what they've learned. The bonus for making it this far is getting a set of free resources to explore how to do new things with technology, feel free to visit the resource pages linked below.
And finally, the extra-cool, out-of-control groovy, over-the-top hip element to this challenge (you might be able to guess my age, following that last round of adjectival terms) is to take a shot at entering our spring 90-second video contest, or getting your students involved in this year's Service via Video project. This part is not something you need to do as you report in your challenge via the Learning Series form, though. Just give one or both of those sites a look, and see what you think.
Best wishes for 2015!
So, there ya go! The challenge this week is to learn a little more about video creation and remember to share out your learning on social media via the #EduLS hashtag! Take a step outside your comfort zone this week! Create a short video, or better yet have your students create one, upload it, and share it online! We all can learn so much from each other!
Week 1 - #onelittleword
Week 2 - Create a Video
Happy Learning! (and look out for next week's challenge from the amazing Tony Vincent!)