Birch School : Maker Rings

Sharing the Story of "Students supporting Students to MAKE their best work"

Teaching with video.



Whenever I begin to plan for a lesson I start by searching videos. I see myself as a facilitator, more than a teacher. I want them to utilize their own perspective, view the information through their own lens. As much as possible I want them to draw their own conclusions rather than be asked to accept my view.


As someone more experienced with finding information than my students I can choose visual resources that can concisely show them the essence of the topic. There are experts and people who are knowledgeable and experienced in their area of expertise, and they send the message of their work through video.


When we teach with a compelling visual tool students gain a depth of understanding that is not possible by solely reading text on a page.   Lectures and lesson are enhanced with video, and student engagement is heightened. Students can see pictures of the places, items, and people they are learning about. They can make connections to their own experience, and create a picture in their mind that is more vivid, more 3 dimensional than what they could get through hearing a voice or reading a document.


We also use Video to facilitate learning in ways like Thinking Moves.



So rather than a teacher I can see myself as YouTube –Vimeo –Amazon –Netflix facilitator sometimes. When students ask questions after a video ends, I will often quickly search another video that answers that questions. We go down these side streets, and my students and I often find these the most engaging and rewarding conversations.


This is especially true when we do the weekly KQED DoNow activity. Sponsored by KQED EdSpace this asks high school students a question relevant to the day. Each week they pose questions to high schoolers in the areas of Media and Culture, Science, Civics. We teach this to a mixed age group of middle and high schoolers. Frequently this group requires some background information to understand the question of the week. I usually search some basic introductory videos of 5-10 minutes to begin. From there we follow their questions, and watch and discuss for up to an hour. By the end of the session they have written out their 140 Character tweet. They take turns tweeting out from the school Twitter account, marking their tweets with their initials.


Without video our students would have a completely different experience of school. I like that they are engaged when we watch and listen together. I help them have a window on the world through video.

Admin • October 31, 2015

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