Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So...you're ready for your first video?

In the previous two posts I brainstormed questions when educators first consider flipping and when they're ready to take the leap. Now, I will offer some questions and tips for video instruction:

What is the goal of the video?  (Be sure to mention this at the beginning AND end of each video. Some teachers write the standard/indicator on slides at the beginning and end of the video)

Be prepared:
Have all materials (if on video) or slides (if creating a screencast) ready beforehand.

Think through the video so you don’t have to do much editing afterward. However, if you do make a mistake, that’s ok! Hopefully the students will catch the mistake and it can lead to a discussion in class.

MOST of my lessons are 'screencasts' of me teaching a SMARTboard lesson using SMARTboard software. I use Camtasia to screencast my lessons and this works best for me. However, adding variety to your flipped videos is KEY!

BE CREATIVE in the different ways to Flip:

Screencasting (no picture inset)
Screencasting (with picture inset)
Teaching using a videocamera/tripod
Teaching with a guest (bring in your principal or another teacher as your sidekick!)
Students teaching on camera
Students creating screencasts
On Location flipped videos - These are my favorite! (Where can you record a lesson that students will remember? Local donut shop? Local park? Cafeteria in your school? You can read more about these videos here.)

Also, instructionally, there are different types of flipped videos that I've used:
Introduction Videos
Reteaching Videos
Review Videos
Spiraling Videos

Screencasting Tips-
To SPEED up your screencast, try to have as much written on the slide as possible BEFORE you begin your screencast. Hide the writing if possible and then reveal it when necessary. I use the SMARTboard program and do much of the writing beforehand so the students don’t have to watch me write (poorly) with the mouse as I’m solving problems. The writing is covered with a 'screen shade' and then revealed when I'm ready. Preparing the slides beforehand, can take many minutes off your video.

BE YOURSELF. Make jokes and be personable on the screencast or video. No one wants to listen to a robot.

Keep your videos short. Typically my videos are 4-7 minutes in length. My students typically have four questions with the video which means that their math homework is approximately ten minutes each night.  

INVOLVE the students. In every video I have a joke of the day. My students and I share a document where they add jokes. I know it sounds silly but it helps them take ownership of the videos.

Have a plan for your flipped videos. I like doing my videos in a series. At the beginning I can recap quickly what was taught in the previous video and at the end I can mention what is to come! I use a chart similar to the one below to help me organize my thinking:

In Class Lesson Focus
Flipped Video Focus



Flipping is just another way of instructing. Each of us has a unique set of circumstances that we deal with. Figure out how to make it work for you and don’t feel bad if your original plan has to be 

One Video A Week Flipped Classroom:
Although I flip 4 days a week, some teachers provide one video a week and have great success (ex. spelling rule.) The students can refer to this video multiple times during the week to help complete activities.

I hope these tips help you. If you have others please add your suggestions to the comments below! In the next two posts you can learn about:
Flipped Platform Comparison

Thanks for reading!

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