T&L 3: Video Ideas

These posts are pretty much copy/paste duplicates from the emails I’ve been asked to put together for my school. They’re going out to all teaching staff on a weekly basis, but responses so far have been limited. Any ideas on how to promote engagement? On with the show:


Morning all
As an antidote to Ken Robinson – who is indeed an entertaining and passionate speaker, but somewhat divorced from the reality of teaching in a classroom – some links and ideas about videos. [NB: I’m not necessarily criticising Sir Ken’s ideas, that’s another post – but I did wonder how useful it was to use as CPD in-house for teachers.)
For Students
How about a TV series for a starter or plenary? Have students write the five or six episode titles, then perhaps a single-sentence plot summary, for the topic they are studying. This could be a series of questions to prompt the topic, or a way to sum up and organize what they know. There’s an obvious link to groups for revision or recap activities for the main part of the lesson, putting together a concept map or similar. (I used to do this as ‘chapters in a book’ but got tired of the blank looks.)
Lots of BBC clips are available, searchable and free, intended for classroom use. As usual some are dated but they can be great starting points, or set them as HW for students to review at their own pace. Like any other video, it’s easy for students to switch off; studies have shown that having them make notes, giving them questions in advance so they’re paying attention to key words, or having them write a test sheet with answers as they watch can all boost recall. They can be useful to define the objectives for the lesson, much as David Didau suggested in September.
Making videos can be daunting but students can really get on board with it. Making a strict time limit and a focus – perhaps a 30 second or 1 minute TV advert – means they can concentrate on what they want to say, not just how they want to say it. If completed for HW, or set as an option for revision evidence, it can always be emailed to your work account for sharing in class. Unless they beg you not to.
Resources like Brainpop, Youtube for Schools, C4 Clipbank and so on may offer benefits, but you need to sign up and pay first. The usual problem is finding something good, as it normally exists somewhere. Don’t assume that because you know about it that colleagues in your department do also.
For Teachers
Who better to listen to than another teacher? This was the basis of Teachers TV, back in the day, but the archive is still available. Search, watch, be inspired – or at least relieved that someone else has ideas you can steal. Remember that we can divide educational ideas into methods (things you can change in your classroom), tactics (things a department or school can put into place) and strategy (for schools, LAs or Gove to worry about). There’s no point watching something about changing how schools in the UK teach less engaged students with a global approach if what you need is a way to stop Johnny shouting at Sarah during discussions.
If you want something less, well, polished, then check out TeachMeets. Attending them in person is best, but may not be practical. In the meantime, you can see lots of 2 and 7 minute presentations by colleagues who wanted to share (or were bullied until they said yes to sharing) something that can be used quickly in the classroom. More will hopefully be appearing sooner or later.
Would really welcome some suggestions, queries, requests from colleagues about what should be covered in these emails. Hope that more than one person (Thanks, you know who you are) found the revision ideas useful.



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