18772767 - Show Me Watching their own learning on video...

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Unformatted text preview: Show Me Watching their own learning on video leads students to powerful self-assessment. Matthew J. Dicks magine an assessment that could show teachers clearly how students are learning as well as what they have learned What if teachers could check to see whether all stttdents have mastered a learning task and ohsen'e each incli- vidual students performance at the same time? What if students could objectively Vt itness and assess their own learning process—and explore with teachers how they could improve that learning process? Usmg digital Video feedback can lead to such assessment. The practice of digital VIdCO feedback is straightforward: l regularly videotape my students in class and sometimes tnyse lf engaging in various learning situations and essons, l either show the resulting footage immediately to stttdents to highlight a posttiye learning behavior or edit the vtdeo and include it as an element of a future lesson. By turning the camera on ourselves. we receive immediate feedback on teaching and learning behaviors in the class- room. Quick feedback is key to unlocking student interest. Our current generation of students—what some researchers call the Game Gent‘ratioi'i has L'vi‘own up playing video games and using the Internet as a means of learning and entertainment. As a result. many students expect to receive feedback and some kind of gratilicatton right after they expend effort on a task This is 78 that \l|-.I\.\t l.: \l‘i |it~.‘|l|'/\t'\l \Il-t: |-: why students who seem unable to focus in class can spend hours honing their Video game skills The instant response that a video game provides keeps chil— dren actively engaged. As Mark Prensky notes. Video games provide immediate feed back in scoring and in visual and audi- tory stimulus. which allows learners to more quickly modify their teaming strategies before the ineffective ones become entrenched. Digital video feedback capitalizes on the power of immediate feedback for stttdents in this age group. The Accidental Beginning Last school year. I was preparing a workshop for educators in our district on managing writers workshops. I decided to videotape one of my own writers workshops—including peer conferences and my student—teacher conferences—to demonstrate the strate- gies that I would he explaining. As I viewed the tape to prepare for the professional development work- shop. strengths and weaknesses in my students” ability to guide other writers immediately became clear. For example. students comments were in general helpful to writers. highlighting important aspects of a story. but students often did not present their comments in a sensitive or appealing way. They often opened their commene Lill'y with it negatne remark and started .1003 with the phrase you should rather than the subtler you could. 1 tried to explain to my students what watching the tape had shovm me about their conferencing. One Student asked. "Can you show us what you're talking about?” I thought. “Why not?" As students watched their ovm confers ences. I could tell that the message was getting through. Murmurs of"Aha!" and whispers of “Sorry I sounded so mean“ went around the room. It dawned on me that l had made more progress in improving student confers encng through 30 minutes of showing this videotape than I would have made through 30 nnnilessons I began filming and editing peer conferences about once a week to show to students as part of my ininilessons. As I watched my students‘ peer conferences improve more rapidly than ever, I realized what a powerful tool I had stumbled on. I began expanding it into other aspects of the curriculum. Digital video feedback is now part of my writing, reading, and science instruction. as well as a means of improving student behavior Speeding Up the Learning Curve Reading instruction. 1 routinely videotape student book talks (small-group discus sions about a text) and book club meet— ings and show this footage to students, pointing out positive leaming behaviors. Viewing reading strategies in action and discussing them speeds up the learning curve tremendously. Students have begun to better understand what topics a x q a: #1. a D they can initiate during a book talk, and their discussion has grown more lively and productive. Many reading strategies that I strive to teach students—including prediction, compare and contrast, iden- tifyng the author’s purpose, and identi- fying the main idea—have made their way into book talks as a result of students watching their peers apply these strategies on tape. james: Maybe it’s better to be—not dumb. but clueless. Then you don‘t know how sad you‘re supposed to be. Science. My students also routinely videotape their own science experi— ments and use the footage to report and assess their work. By rewinding the tape to observe each step they performed in an experiment, students can determine where they adhered to By turning the camera on ourselves, we receive immediate feedback on teaching and learning behaviors in the classroom. The following conversation, taken from a video ofa student book talk comparing Louis Sachar’s book Holes with Jerry Spinelli's Loser, shows h0w bringing to mind a strategy that students had seen their peers use livened up a stalled discussion? Jolt it: I’m not sure what to talk about. We said. it all already. What should we do? janc: Yeah, i know, But remember how in the video we watched Donna talk about how the last chapter made her think of Zinkoff from Loser? This chapter made me think of Zinkoff, too. He was happy. but no one around him liked him. james: But no one likes Caveman. lane; Yeah,just like no one likes Zinkoff. john; Yeah, but Caveman knows no one likes him. He’s smarter james: Friend~smarter jolm: Zinkoff is clueless. He doesn't know anything. That‘s why he's so happy. 0r strayed from the scientific method. This practice has made my science instruction more experiment-oriented and dramatically improved studean’ understanding of the basic principles of experimentation, One experiment that l have students conduct is designed to determine what factors influence the size and shape of moon craters. Students drop marbles of differing sizes from a variety of heights and measure the size of the holes the marbles create. In viewing the video- tape of their experiments, students immediately noticed how the methods of dropping the marbles and measuring crater size differed among groups of students, This recognition helped them see why their results were often incon— sistent from group to group. Classroom management. Digital video feedback has made a remarkable differ- ence in the behavior of a number of my students and holds vast potential for turning around poor classroom conduct. Students need to recognize ASSOCIATION FOR SL‘PERVIHON AND CLiRRlCLLLIM DEVELOPMENT and understand the problems others have with their behavior before they can change. A school psychologist working with a student who exhibits disruptive behaviors often observes that student over a period of time and then describes to the student what he or she has noticed. Digital video feedback takes this strategy one step further. it enables students to watch their own behavior in a classroom situation and compare their actions with those of their peers. Having the chance to assess their own and others‘ behavior without relying on an adult's judgment is a powerful expe— rience and a potent tool, especially for students who cannot pick up well an instructional and social cues. Overall. 1 have witnessed a dramatic increase in student learning through There are priorities in lite... the use of digital video feedback. By becoming catalysts in developing their own learning strategies. my students have grown more confident and competent in their communication skills, Students who tend to be less introspective or observant now have a powerful tool with which they can observe and modify their behavior. This has helped put them on more equal footing with their peers. Turning the Camera on the Teacher Digital video feedback also helps the assess my own instruction. As teachers, we often work without much adult interaction, and it becomes difficult to honestly assess our own teaching skills. \Nth I regularly watch my own instructional techniqttes on tape. Now you can have it all. Family. Career. Education. 100% Online Degrees Master's and Ed.D./Ph.D. Degrees in EDUCATION 9 Specializations Northcentral University “The better way to earn your degree” Contact us at 866-776-0331 or www.ncu.edu/el 80 L‘DLt‘Ai'toNAt LEADthlllP/NUVILMlil'R 2005 however, I quickly see areas in need of improvement. For example. after videotaping and watching my studentvteacher writing conferences, I discovered that the prob- lems i had seen in my students’ peer conferencing also existed in my own interactions with students. In essence] my students had learned their confers encing behavrors from me. I realized that as much as the students might improve on their own, the only way to change conferencing in my classroom was to provide a better role model. This realization has made an enormous difference in the way I speak to students about their writing. A New Role far Video During the last five years, 1 have seen more and more teachers use digital video in the classroom. but generally with the aim of having students create their own videos to present information in an entertaining way Although I see a benefit to using video this way, as a book lover 1 question whether the time it takes to teach a student to shoot and edit a video could be better spent guiding them through a good book. But I hold no such reservations about prac- ticing digital video feedback. Blending videotaped observation into such fundamental classroom activities as writers workshop, scientific experimen- tation. and book talks gives students and teachers access to information that is available in almost no other way. Tapping into this information improves the way in which sttidents learn. which will undoubtedly broaden what they learn. ‘Prensky. M. {2001). Digital game—based learning. New York: McGraw Hill. JAII student names are pseudonyms. Matthew J. Dicks teaches 3rd grade at Wolcott School. 71 Woicott Rd, W. Hartford, CT 06110; 860-561—2300; matthew_dicks@whps.org. Copyright of Educational Leadership is the property of Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. The copyright in an individual article may be maintained by the author in certain cases. Content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. 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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2009 for the course EDP 351 taught by Professor East during the Spring '09 term at West Chester.

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18772767 - Show Me Watching their own learning on video...

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