Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Turns out my students like my videos better because I made them

(it's sports day - normally I wear a tie)

Hey there Flippers! I'm sure you can tell I’m not great at this this blogging business. It’s only been about eight months or so since my last post.  But here I am again! Let’s focus on something I have learnt.

Turns out my students like my videos better because I made them.

I know. I know. Grammatically it’s poor. But I’m going for catchy instead of correct.

If you're an educator and you've been in a cave on Mars then you probably haven't heard about the flipped classroom. But if you have wandered out of that cave then it’s probably come across your attention. 


Brief recap – the flipped classroom is where a teacher uses screen-casts (lesson videos) in order to supplement the students learning.

To that end I, there are companies out there now that are selling their specially made screen-casts to the public. Schools can purchase access to these sites and then students can download the screen casts.

My school invested in such a site this year. I’m not going to fib. It has been useful. But – guess what:

Turns out my students like my videos better because I made them.

And I’d suggest it would be the same for you.

I started using this purchased site a bit at the beginning of the year to share Maths screen casts with my students. I like in the site because it actually links the screen cast directly to relevant mathematical activities, which I still think is pretty useful.

This had been my approach with Mathletics anyway. I would make a screen cast, upload it to my website and give instructions to my students to watch it, and then to go on Mathletics and complete an associated task.

This new website did all that for me, except it wasn’t my screen cast.

And guess what:

Turns out my students like my videos better because I made them.

In three years of flipping the classroom I have not felt the students move away from me one tiny bit. But I did after using this website. I trusted my instincts and ask the children about it. Did they prefer the videos I made for them or did they prefer the videos from the purchased website. I asked them to be brutally honest. Because they are 5th graders – they were.

In fact, we completed a survey. Here is the survey link. This one is just graphs:

And here is two more. These links have plenty of comment data:

 I like to learn by a teacher that teach me and the videos heeeelp me learn to.

i like using you and videos because if i do not get the video i can speak to you i also think i like your videos more because you know what is in them

I think that the "Maths Online" videos just give a million examples plus the guy can't answer any questions you may have because he doesn't address them, where as you can in person and your don't give as many examples. Bronson

I like using the real live teacher and the videos because its keeps a balance of using one or the other. I especially like having the teacher because you can ask questions.

Well, most of my students like my videos because they are me. Some (a few) liked the professional videos. Good for them!

Which leads me to this conclusion:

I think we should use mostly our own videos, but mix it up with a few others as well.

(Also interesting to know a clear 80% of children indicated they preferred using the real live teacher and the videos in the classroom instead of just the videos or just the teacher.)

So keep mixing it up!

If you haven’t started using screen cast in your classroom could I please encourage you to? I'm a Year Five teacher and I've been doing it for three years and it is fantastic! It has improved my student results - the effects are measurable.

I have also started to consult in NSW primary and high schools with regards to flipping (or blending) the classroom. If you are interested in having me come along to speak to your staff, details can be found here:   https://sites.google.com/site/mattburnsflipyourclassroom/

cave image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brostad/3928895269