Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why Making Videos is great!

So it's been over a month since I last posted, and about 3 weeks since I meaningfully participated in any stuff like twitter.  The doldrums toward the end of the year have been hitting me pretty hard, perhaps moreso than a lot of years, for a lot of reasons, not all of which have to do with school.

I've spent most of this semester trying to concentrate on implementing SBG and flipclass without actually making new videos, since I made 60 or so last term.  But as I was finishing up gases I realized that I didn't have a video at all for partial pressures.  Then my AP class clearly did not remember anything about buffers from a month ago.

That made me decide to make two videos tonight even though the past few days have been pretty rough for me personally.  I don't even normally make videos for my AP class and in doing so, I realized a couple of things.

When I'm generally teaching stuff in my AP class, I have to work a lot ahead of the kids.  It's been a long time since I was in college and so when I started teaching AP 4 years ago, I had to relearn a lot of stuff.  And what I've noticed is that even though I understand a lot of stuff, I haven't been doing a very good job of getting that across to my students.

Which of course is what teaching is all about.

Making the videos though does something other than all of the stuff that I've touted in previous posts though.  It actually makes me a better teacher, because I really make sure that I know my stuff before I present it.  I think about how I want to present it, in what order, about what things I know will trip them up.  Then when I edit it, I think of more stuff, so I add in the callouts and things to help out there.

I'm not high on myself, I know my videos aren't the greatest, I hope in 4 or 5 years to have some truly amazing ones, with more student than me.  But for now, I realized tonight that while I was burned out on the process last semester (did I mention 60 videos, of 10-20 mins each...yeah), that I actually enjoy the process, and feel a lot better about it when I have something that students can take home and go over again and again if need be other than the textbook (which they won't btw!).

In my honors class today, when I realized that I had no vodcast for partial pressures, even though we had done a phet and talked about it, I decided to lecture on it in class today for 15 or so minutes.  The students were attentive for the most part, but afterwards, one told me that I had to make a post a video tonight because I had gotten her used to doing it that way, and she needed a video.  Whether that is good or bad is another discussion, but at least it made me feel some validation for the travails of making them!

I did notice that I lost my time edge a little though...the AP one was 20 minutes long...ah well, more refining to do!