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Published
Jun 27, 2022

Help Students Build a Better Summer for Learning

Olivia Nelson
PD Specialist

As educators, we often think of the summer as a time where students forgo all academic pursuits and suffer from what’s called “summer slide” — learning loss associated with being out of school in the summer. However, in a recent conversation we had with Renee Dawson, of Atlanta Public Schools, she challenged us to reframe our thinking. 

Educators can use the summer as a time to build a “summer bridge” for students, reinforcing the learning they have previously done and connecting it to what they will learn next. 

We can build a summer bridge through assigning relevant content from this year along with important prerequisite skills for next year. Listen to Renee discuss building a summer bridge more in the live session video below and read on for tips on how you can leverage video for summer learning! 😎

Real review 🔄

Over the summer, we have the chance to remediate and extend our students’ understanding. Using video can be an incredible way to re-teach content, assess student understanding, and make summer learning personal. 

Listen to our complete discussion on improving summer learning in this episode of EdTech Heroes!👇

Video for re-teach 📖

As teachers, review packets are one of the most common ways we ask students to review material. While this can be effective, imagine if we could actually provide an Avenue for students to re-learn the things they find tough. Video provides that! Record short videos for your students supporting the core content from the year. 

To create summer learning experiences with Screencastify, start with the learning materials. For example, you could create a presentation in Google Slides, use a digital whiteboard, or even use an anchor chart in person.

If you are using digital materials in your lesson, start by selecting a browser tab or desktop recording. This will record whatever you have on your screen, so before you click record, close anything that is not a part of the video. Embedding your webcam in these screen recordings is a great way to make the videos feel more personal and less robotic. You can even use the drawing tools to annotate on screen during a recording to add even more clarity to your presentation!

If you have created a physical anchor chart, you can always use the webcam recording to capture a video. Before the recording begins, make sure the chart or other material is in the frame. Click record and explain just like you would to a live audience, only this time to your camera! 

Video for assessment 💻

Video is also an extremely valuable option for summer assessment by providing the ability to add questions and collect data and even ask students to create their own videos on their own schedule.

With Screencastify Submit, you can create assignments that are completed with a video submission. Students will create videos, but you can customize settings and when students return their video it is automatically sent to your Google Drive or Classroom!

Students can easily create and submit videos for 

  • Special assignments 
  • Summer projects
  • Formal assessments

Using Record and Edit, students can also create their own videos that include slide presentations, narration over videos, music, map tours, and anything else they want to share that feels relevant. Then, they can share them with a teacher as a link or as a GIF! 

And not only can students demonstrate their summer learning by creating their own videos, but teachers can also create their own videos to gather valuable data about student learning. If you want to collect data on what your students know, try adding interactive questions to any instructional video.

  • Just start from the Video Management Page and choose “Interactive Questions”. 
  • Then you can insert multiple choice questions throughout, increasing engagement while collecting valuable data. 
  • As students watch the video, they’ll be prompted to answer the questions and be notified immediately whether their answers are correct or not. 
  • If you are looking for data trends, just click the results tab at the top of the Interactive Questions screen. You can see how your class did as a whole, how individual students fared, and which questions were more challenging!

Student-created videos and teacher-created video assessments are useful learning tools regardless of what subject you teach. 

Learn more here!

Create summer playlists✌️

Playlists allow students to navigate through lessons at their own pace and complete some in-person activities at various points to create the most engaging summer school experience possible. 

Watch below to hear Renee Dawson talk more about playlists that students can use all summer long. 

Build your summer bridge 🌉

These are just a few examples of how teachers can help build a summer bridge over the break. Share your own ideas on Twitter and tag us @screencastify!

Olivia Nelson
PD Specialist

Former elementary school teacher helping educators use video to enhance the learning experience.