It is widely known and accepted that folks with smartphones will catch almost everything that occurs on this earth with their camera apps. No one is safe under the all-seeing eye.
And of course, these random pics and videos appear almost instantaneously on any number of social media sites, subsequently blessing (or utterly ruining) the lives of those who remain fixed on their feeds.
Despite the above video obviously being staged...it does serve to illustrate my point. People, especially those under the age of 20, are simply fascinated by the phenomenon that is the 10-second-or-less video.
But what if there was a way to transport a similarly engaging idea to a classroom, yet have it truly benefit mankind, not just entertain the mindless masses with funny cat videos?
Okay, now that you are back (c'mon, you know you watched at least a few of the feline funnies) let's see how this same kind of logic can carry over into a classroom setting. And the search ends on the first screen of your tablet or mobile device.
Each and every iPad and smartphone, and even your run-of-the-mill knockoff tablet, is equipped with a camera app that is highly underutilized in the world of education. As I mentioned in a previous post, having students show what they know in new and engaging ways makes content and learning more meaningful and valuable to them.
In the world of complex testing, assessment, and instructional demands, what could be less imposing than having the kids shoot 30-second videos of each other quickly explaining certain components of communicative and associative properties or briefly comparing and contrasting the Montagues and Capulets? Why, the possibilities are as endless as the number of videos on Vine!
For starters, such mini-presentations will help fulfill parts of at least two SL CCR Anchor Standards:
SL.5 "Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations."
SL.6 "Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate."
|Say cheese :-)|
Aside from student engagement and CCSS coverage, a wonderful aspect of using video in the classroom for formative assessment is the fact that the videos are sharable, archiveable, and accessible 24/7 from any location. Our school uses either Google Drive, YouTube, or My Big Campus to house student work. The kids make the videos in class, upload them, and walk away knowing they "turned in" their work and had fun along the way while taking up no extra instructional time.
And while I understand that many kids will initially use the camera app to catch their friend unawares picking his nose or to take shots of themselves in full on "Selfie" mode, I am here to tell you, with a little classroom management and lots of consistent exposure to tech devices, those impulses go away.
Eventually, the students will come to see iPads, laptops, etc as tools to get the job done and not as distractions. They will also quickly realize that they cannot throw a tablet into the ceiling tiles only to torment teachers and custodial staffs across the country.
Need more persuasion? Consider these points:
- Camera apps come with the device. They are free.
- The videos conveniently save to the device in use
- Videos are easy to view and assess from anywhere
- Student creations allow for more personality and creativity than written work
- Video process takes as much or even less time than writing
- No more waiting in line at the copier to run off 100 copies of a worksheet
- Process aligns to any number of CCSS and associated instructional "shifts"
- Perfect to accommodate high level DOK activities (Critique, Cite Evidence, etc.)
- Great for Exit Tickets - formative assessment
- Compile the videos in student e-portfolios
- Great for PTCs and open houses!
- Show the parents what the kids showed that they knowed (it rhymes, okay)
Teaching should be about simplicity of procedure. Once kids get the hang of planning, producing, and sharing their video creations, teachers can place their focus back on quality instruction and best practice, while turning over the lion's share of the work to their students. And certainly, as students get more adept at some of the "bells and whistles" available to them, they will give more effort towards showing what they have learned.
Plus, you might get videos like this: