Monday, October 27, 2014

Using Video Snippets in the (Online) Classroom

I have always been a proponent of video in my classroom. They offer great demonstrations of both vocabulary and techniques in a way that visual learners benefit from. Here is a link to some samples the videos I have created that fit into the demonstration category. 

Recently, I have started using videos in a few new ways due to the ability to pull in videos from sources like YouTube and embed them into my classroom pages. I use short, fun videos that I find to spark discussion via reflective questions. I have had a weekly discussion board in the past where I use articles from Scholastic Art to generate discussion, but I have found it is fun to mix up the sources that students are viewing, and it can lead to some great creative thinking! 

This is the first video I used in my discussion board. I looked for videos that were less than 5 minutes long and that could be used to prompt students to think about the big question, "What is art?" I asked them to reflect on the following:
1. Which definition of art from the video do you most agree with?
2. Do you think “bad” art still art? Why or why not?
3. At this moment, what do you think is the most important function of art?
At this point in the course, students have had a little bit of exposure to different styles of art but have mostly focused on drawing techniques. I really enjoyed reading their responses, especially from the third question as it prompted a great range of ideas from personal expression to visual communication and everything in between. 

The other more recent use of videos in the classroom is a variation on recorded live lessons I have used in the past. I have always recorded my synchronous lessons for students to watch at a time which is convenient for them (check out this post for more information on how that works). However, due to a shift in focus this year in my live instruction schedule, I haven't had a high attendance rate for my lessons each week. With this change and the availability of a new tool called Screencast-O-Matic I have begun to make lesson snippets: an overview of lesson content for the week summed up in 5-10 minutes. This week I am out of my office for much of the day due to state testing, so it is especially important that I was able to post a short lesson video into my weekly announcements for students to access this week while they are working. 

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