So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Video Scribe, a program which allows us to create these whiteboard style animations with ease, and without getting whiteboard marker all over my sleeves!
The most successful way I have used Video Scribe in the classroom is to display the current units’ learning objectives. Our school subscribes to Robert Marzano’s 9 High Yield Strategies. Through his research Robert Marzano determined that there are 9 strategies which when used by teachers, yield high returns from the students.
Add to this the fact that we would have one of these up for each subject, the large chunk of writing, can sometimes become a wall of writing.
Using Video Scribe as a way of explaining what the students need to Know, Understand and Do immediately removes the intimidation of all the writing, and the images support the meaning of the text.
Video Scribe also gives you the option to save the completed video as a PDF, so I would print out the final image onto A3 paper, laminate it and put magnetic tape on the back of the poster, which gave me the ability to move it to various locations. Suddenly, the huge wall of writing has become a few colourful posters with illustrative pictures.
I found that the best way to use these was to show the video at the beginning of each lesson. The kids loved them so much they never got bored of them. In fact, the children would tell me how many times they watched the videos at home. After about a week, when the novelty of the video, the music and the wondering of whether or not they were my real hands in this video wore off, the kids would all read along with the lesson objectives. So I knew that at least on some level the students knew what they were supposed to get out of the unit.
After we watched the videos I’d simply place the poster somewhere easily visible for the students and circle the relevant learning objectives for that lesson. I found this method would give the students focus for the day and a clear understanding of the purpose of the lesson. If they forgot what their goals were, they knew exactly where to find them.
So, how well did it work? Well apart from engaging ALL the students, I knew this method was the most successful one I have used to ensure all the children knew the learning objectives for the lesson.
Each fortnight the Year 1 teaching team would come through and observe each others’ classes as part of our MCREL Power Walkthroughs. It soon became evident that my students were the only ones in the year 1 cohort who could all consistently state the learning objectives when asked by other teachers.
I have begun showing teachers how they can make their own videos, and am looking forward to learning new ways they have been using the medium in their classes.
If anyone else has used Video Scribe, or any other similar tool, in their classroom, please leave a comment below, sharing your story.
Yesterday I heard from Leonie Dodd, a presenter of the “Classroom Instruction that Works” Professional Developments and the Australian Programs Manager for McREL International. Last year I showed Leonie how I was using Video Scribe to sets objectives in a Nonlinguistic manner. Leonie told me that she has shared that idea to teachers all across Australia and she is seeing some transformation in how teachers are seeking their objectives.