Saturday, March 31, 2012

Flipping My Technology Classroom

It happened almost by accident. I had made tutorial videos before but had only used them in Photoshop or lessons which use Powerpoint or videos.  I had some videos on Youtube but was not employing it as a tool in my classroom all the time. Just as my students were finishing a web design assignment focused on the basic core components of our lessons I decided that I wanted a way to have students describe verbally and also show the
process of their learning in a live way. I then organized my classrooms into pairs and created an order for two studnets at a time to sit down with a written plan and decribe the components of their websites with a recorded screencast.
     The results are very interesting little videos which help identify the strengths of each students understadings of the assignments and also the collaboration skills of the studnets in their paired groups at explaining their content. It was key for students to take some time to plan their videos before they made their video. In some cases they made elaborate notes and planning sheets. The exercise became an opportunity to have students describe verbally and show graphicall their learning process.
     Based on this experience I became involved in making my own videos for the class. So far I have made playlists of videos for three classes. In my Web Design 1 course I have currently made 13 videos for the first module in the class. The videos which are mainly 5-10 minutes long have walked students through the construction of a 5 page website using HTML and CSS. Students work swiftly through the lessons and helping students dissect problems with their process or understanding has become  easier to do. Students have remarked that it saves time and also allows them to move them at their own pace. As a teacher it allows me to move through the room and assist immediately with issues and problems. It also gives me time to create videos and also to move my curriculum ahead with research on the subject matter being taught.
     In the past couple weeks I have better developed the annotations,timing and organization of my videos on to the YouTube page. I have found the page easy to organize and to tag. I hope in the next couple weeks to expand my videos into my other courses and look forward to doing more assessment with video screencasts.

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