Video and Teaching

jing.jpgHave you ever wondered why sites like YouTube have become so popular or why MMS messaging has come to be used so much. The answer is quite simple. The human eye and brain process visual data (images) automatically. To read something, we first need to decode it and apply grammar rules to the recognised words to construct meaning.

Here, we look at a method of creating and sharing video clips with your students for educational purposes. The idea is simple. Create short video clips of the main points in your lessons or methods of completing tasks and either send them to students of place them on the school intranet for students to download.

First – The Wrong Way
Until now, many teachers have chosen to record themselves with a video recorder. Here’s an example of this method.

So what’s wrong with this? Here’s a list of the issues faced when using a video recorder.
Firstly, you need a video recorder. Then you have to get the video onto the computer and convert it to a usable format. You need a whiteboard and it all needs to be set up so you can’t just create a video wherever you happen to be. If lighting is not right, you may not be able to see the whiteboard. Can you hear your voice clearly with the video way over there – maybe you need a microphone. Also, when you write on the board, will you be blocking the viewer from seeing the it. The list goes on and on. In the end it’s just too time consuming and difficult.

My solution is to use a piece of software – preferably a free one (JING) which captures whatever is on your computer screen as well as your voice through the computer microphone. Let’s take a look at an example….

Why is this so good? Firstly, it’s all done on your computer so there’s no transfer or converting to do, and at the click of a button it can be sent to your server or even a web site. The screen capture is always crisp and vibrant with no glare or reflection and your voice can be heard easily because you are only 30cm from the microphone. Best of all, if you have a laptop you can even make a short video clip at the bus stop or Coffee shop. You can also include all the rich media that computers have to offer like internet, videos and other programs. That’s something you just can’t do with a whiteboard.

But you CAN’T record yourself! Or can you? Consider this. If you connected a web cam to your computer you would have a piece of software to show you what was being taken on the camera. If you placed that box in the area of the screen you were recording then you would have yourself in the video too. Sound confusing? Take a look at this video and I think you will see what I mean.

So, do you think you could use this in your lessons? Please take the time to consider the possibilities of using this powerful medium to reach your students.