I have been out of the classroom 3/5 days this term and I will continue to be out of the classroom 3/5 days next term. It’s been an interesting experience so far. My classes have happily continued with their projects (OK, except for Year 8 who just wanna have me there to clown around with them) and are communicating with me via edmodo frequently. One of the things I have found difficult is not being their for my ‘I am the expert’ lessons – you know, where I spend part of a lesson being a ‘teacher’ at the front of the room and doing some whole class interactive instruction. This stuff is important when you set extended writing tasks, like writing an English essay.
It’s taken me a few weeks but I’ve finally managed to get the time to create some videos to help my students to write English essays. This is my mini-take on the ‘flipped classroom’ method. Here was the process I used to create the videos:
1. I brainstormed what I wanted my students to know and created a super rough outline of the structure and content of each video. I decided that five shorter videos was heaps better than a 20 minute video. I divided them up loosley on the main components of an essay, that way students can pick a video for their weakness.
2. I used the screen-casting tool Jing Pro to record my computer screen as I typed on Bubbl.us (the online mind-mapping tool) and on MS Word docs. I heard via twitter that Jing Pro is dead and gone, but I paid for Pro a year ago and it still seems to work on my Mac just fine – I chose pro because it automatically converts the videos to mP4 – a much more user-friendly format. At this stage I didn’t record any audio – I needed to plan that a bit more.
3. I imported the Jing videos into iMovie and added audio. I thought that I would have to run through these a couple of times to get it right but in the end I just did them off the cuff and I was happy with the final product. There are a couple of silly things I say or awkward pauses but I think that’s fine. Gives the kids something to laugh at. Adding audio to a video is really easy in iMovie.
4. I exported the videos to my desktop and then uploaded them to my school’s YouTube channel (DavoHSEnglish Channel). I made sure that in the description of each video I told the students what was featured in each clip to help them make the best selection. I also added extra information about each element where necessary.
And here is the finished product: