Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Angles, iSight Screencasts & Misconceptions

Before/After Videos for Learning

So you want to make a screencast, but you don't have an iPad?

No problem.

Here's what I call an iSight 'Screencast', yes it's not capturing a screen, and yes it's really just a form of video capture, but you get the idea.

In fact for the lesson I used, this is actually a better way to capture what kids can do than using a screencast, yes, I said it.

Before & After #1

The context for this activity was a Grade 4 maths lesson on using a protractor, I wanted to capture their technique, but I can't possibly watch all of the kids in real time at the same time, but a video cam can. Did I watch all 22 videos? No. Did I need to? No. Did the kids think I might? Yes. Did that spur them to do the best they could as if I or their parents would be watching, well, yes, I think it did (and their parents probably will).

Here's the simple setup:

1 Macbook (with built in webcam), 1 piece of paper, that's it.

Here's the lesson in 7 succinct snippets:

  1. Draw an acute angle on the board
  2. Show kids a protractor, tell them it's for measuring angles
  3. Tell them to make a short video* that shows how they think it works
  4. Watch them as they try this - look for at least one kids that can...
  5. Ask kids to upload their video to a shared space as soon as they're finished**
  6. Now show the class a good example from their peers.
  7. Now they go and try again, see of they can do better, or better still impress me! (not doing, the video shows what they were doing)

*They could use Photo Booth, but I advise using QuickTime, which easily allows the kids to flip the video once they've finished the recording, otherwise their work will appear upside down.

Before & After #2

Here's the student video I used to teach the kids this skill:

Protractor Student Demonstration from UWC South East Asia on Vimeo.

I love the fact that the angles they were measuring were actually harder than the conveniently rounded angle they saw demonstrated.

Finally, share their before/after videos on their Learning Journals, with a short reflection on their learning.

  • Misconceptions captured? Yes
  • Misconceptions addressed? Yes
  • Evidence of learning? Yes
  • Differentiation? Yes, the few kids who could do it the first time perfectly, went on to show how they could measure reflex/obtuse angles, etc.

A nice bonus is that as I have all of their before/after videos accessible online, I can review any of them at any time if I have any desire to check on a particular student's grasp of the skill.

Here's the student video I used to demo a correct method - perfect? No, so I used his few hiccups as a teaching opportunity, so you can be sure his second one was :)

**We use Google Drive