Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Video Reflection

By Mark Heintz

A few weeks ago, I posted on the creation of my first video.  You can read about it here.  I have since created about twenty videos that cover the age of imperialism, WWI, WWII, decolonization movements in India, South Africa, Ghana, and a number of other topics in the 20th century.

I commented on how making the videos made me feel like a historian.  While creating the videos, I have learned so much history. For instance, Chiquita Banana paid known terrorist groups in the 2000s to protect their interests in South America, or the history of the United Fruit Company massacre 
But the process of refining the information and providing visual examples has been challenging and really impactful in the classroom.  I have found when I make the video, I have such a clearer goal of what I want my students to know.  I have struggled with how to cover WORLD HISTORY in a year that is global.  Even if I use the AP standards, they are intentionally open ended to allow teachers to use different examples.  There is so much content, it is impossible to cover all of it in one year.   Having clear goals and information you wish your students to know, makes the class manageable for students and myself.

The students who watched the videos have a much higher retention of the content than from just reading the textbook.  They have visuals of the information.  Although there are great visuals in the textbook, they often skip over them in the reading.  When students see maps, charts, or pictures in the textbook, they are relieved because that means less reading on a page.  Having the images in the videos forces the students to see the visuals. 

Additionally, I created a quiz for each video and now have used the feedback function in Schoology. 
The feedback function on a quiz allows the user to provide instant feedback on why the answer is right or wrong.  Since I am creating these questions, I am providing a quick few words on why the answer choice is wrong. The students who have used it, found it to be a great resource if they comprehend the information.    

I still do not know how I am going to use these videos in the future. I am not sure if it will become the primary homework or just use as a supplement.  The videos take a lot of time to prepare and research, but are quick to make once I have all of the prep work finished. Also, the quizzes take time to make.  The whole process can be time consuming and I advise those wishing to start making videos that they should NOT have the goal of making all of them in one year. 

The students enjoy when I put a superhero or Star Wars character behind me.  They always seem to notice those changes depending on my location of where I film them.  

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