Earlier this fall, I assigned my students a paper I knew they would struggle with, because there wasn’t a “right” way to write it.
Student LOVE to ask, “What do you want me to write?”
And I LOVE to respond, “I don’t care as long as you defend it.”
Still, I knew I would get the same six questions eighteen times in the hour before the paper was due for digital submission. And I didn’t have time to respond to the same email over and over again.
My solution? Vlogging.
I made them a short vlog (video log) to explain with the prompt how to approach it, lest any of them missed those crucial details in class.
The result? No question emails. And 100% paper submissions.
EVERY STUDENT turned in their paper on time, avoiding the mistakes I addressed in the short video. TONS of them told me they watched it multiple times, and to Please Do That Again.
I used a free Google Chrome extension called Screencastify. It is very easy to learn and work with, and allows me to record videos up to 10 minutes long, 50 per month, without a paid subscription. I can do basic highlighting and tab switching, and can toggle my webcam on or off. The extension automatically saves my video in Google Drive, but I can easily upload it to YouTube directly from the site as well. I HIGHLY recommend this to teachers to try out! I am especially looking forward to using it for any unplanned E-Learning days this winter.
The Mayflower Compact
I had quite a few students absent this week, and they missed a short activity I did in class that introduces some techniques to analyze older texts. Since we are deep in Puritan literature at the moment, I used the Mayflower Compact text as my example in class. Then, I made a short vlog with the techniques to share with the students who were absent so they also go the material.
I’m excited to do my vlogging for my English classes in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the next Crash Course for English?!
Or maybe not.