Usually the conversation about “videos for instruction” get relegated to the tired conversation about whether or not students learn best from a video or their live teacher #flipclass.
This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about students producing the videos… starring in the videos… scripting the videos.
Stuff like this:
How the Unit Circle REALLY works: http://www.nextvista.org/unraveling-the-unit-circle-using-spaghetti/
How-to Complete the square: http://www.nextvista.org/completing-the-square-2016/
Now as you watch those, it’s fair to ask the question, “yeah but the students are simply going to watch an instructional video for a single skill, right?” And from a student learning perspective from the side of the CONSUMER, that’s likely true. And when you go to Next Vista’s website, you’ll see that it’s fairly simple to find videos, but it’s also that there’s lots of opportunities to submit videos. That’s where this conversation turns. When you see this from the side of the CREATOR, you get a whole different view.
Rushton Hurley (the founder of Next Vista for Learning) has a line I’ve heard him use a couple of time: “When your students know their classmates and community will see their work, they want it to be good. When they know their teacher will be the only one who sees it, they want it to be good enough.” And I think that platforms like Next Vista can provide the space for students to invest their time and effort into learning math to the level needed to record videos that can help others learn the math that deeply, too.
That’s something we’ve learned as math teachers. When you don’t know what you are talking about, that becomes a problem when you are trying to instruct someone else on that topic. By exploring creative outputs for our math learner, we are operationalizing that same truth. In order to create effectively to support learning, you have to have deep knowledge of the content yourself.
And the prospect of deep math knowledge for our students is enough to get my attention.
Here at thegeometryteacher, we’ve been calling out potentially fake messaging since 2011. We’ll we’ve come across another video that just makes you wonder.
It’s either awesome extreme play…
… or awesome filmmaking.
What do you think?
I do think it is more likely to be real than the snow jump luge or the sky-dive trampoline.
If you are interested, check out Real or Fake #’s 1-6.
Kids love videos, right? Students enter into this multimedia experience where they… sit and watch. And often do nothing.
I’ve seen a number of big box math curricula that are clearly trying to address their predictable and uninspiring math curricula by offering VIDEOS where some puppet or animated character presents the math.
I’ve had the same reservations about the #FlipClass movement which traditionally makes heavy use of the video as a teaching tool. And I have the same problem with all of them: Very often, the students simply aren’t active participants in the presentation and thus aren’t learning nearly as well as they could be. (Derek Muller discusses this same point here…)
If we want the video to provide any tangible improvement over live presentations, we need to use the video to engage students in ways that live presentations can’t.
That’s where I think tools like EdPuzzle could be powerful. Check out Episode #9 of “Instructional Tech in Under 3 Minutes” up above. I like the potential of EdPuzzle (like I liked Zaption before it.) I agree that videos can be very effective tools. I’ve recommended them on many occasions (See Speedometer Problem, Pencil Sharpener Problem, or Dan Meyer’s Magic Octagon as examples.)
But videos aren’t an absolute good. And tools like EdPuzzle can help take the potential learning of videos and convert it to more kinetic learning.
I love slide shows. I do. They’re, like, the biggest mystery tool going. No tool has such a wide range of quality of use. I’ve actually seen some folks do some wonderful things with it. And I’ve seen some simply terrible slide show presentations.
It’s remarkable how little thought people put into the experience of their learners when they design their slides. So, that’s the key question with any presentation: What should the learners be doing while you are presenting? What should they be learning? Feeling? Experiencing?
Boredom is almost ALWAYS not a goal, I would expect. The key is giving the listeners / learners / audience something to DO while you present. Google had added a built-in “audience needs to do something” module to their slides application. Check out the video above.
I mean, it could be argued that there are times when a slideshow is appropriate. (Although there should be other options explored.) But they don’t have to be passive and boring. Check out the video above to see what Google has done to support better slideshows.
So, a while back, I posted “Circles from Cedar Street” with an intriguing (at least to me) picture designed to kick off the conversation about rotations.
Then, I left it alone. Like, literally. I didn’t solve it. I should have solved it. I let you down.
I especially let guys like Dan down, who also found the problem intriguing. Sorry about that.
But I realized today that it’s never too late to make it right. So, using Geogebra, here’s is one possible solution to the Circles from Cedar Street problem from back in August of 2013.
I have fun with these.
Real or Fake #6: Batting Practice
Now, the folks in the comment sections seem convinced this is fake, but the support for their answers is a little weak. (As opposed to most comment-section heroes who usually make much more nuanced arguments.)
What say you? Real or fake?
If you are curious, here’s all of my previous real-or-fakes.
First watch this (and be amazed… well, if you’re anything like I am.)
So, when the students can get past the idea that there is some foul play involved, then it becomes a wonderful opportunities to discuss the idea of frequency.
Frequency is an odd discussion because it’s got a strange unit. The “per time” can be a little challenging for students to wrap their heads around.
And the opportunity that this video provides is that here, we don’t need to immediately concern ourselves with the quantitative value of the frequency (maybe 300 RPM for the helicopter rotor, for example, or 5 frames per second on the camera), but we can begin with the qualitative value of the frequency (that the frequencies, whatever they are, are the same.)
And then it opens the door for them discussing some quantitative issues. For example, the fact that the standard unit of frequency (the “per unit time”), obviously isn’t constant. So, the helicopter rotor is RPM and the camera shudder is typically in frames per second (at least, I think. Not a photographer…) So, you’ve got some nice dimensional analysis opportunities.
Where could you take this next?
One thing’s for sure, I’d hate to waste a video like this. Fully captivating, and it only costs your 30 seconds of class time.
Source: I owe TwistedSifter credit for blogging about this video first.