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Dec 15, 2021

Putting Teachers in the Video 'Directors Chair'

Screencastify Squad

According to a survey conducted by Statista in August 2021, 27.2% of the respondents from selected countries reported spending more than 10 hours per week on online videos.

So, it is no surprise that all kinds of companies across different industries put a lot of thought into making high-quality video content a part of their online marketing strategy. However, video has also proven to be an extremely — and increasingly — valuable part of school curriculums. 

Unlike decades past, when teachers played VHS tapes, today's educators have the opportunity to create their own videos to add value to their lessons and improve learning outcomes. But some teachers might think that they don't have the necessary skills. 

It's time to eradicate this belief. 

In this episode of EdTech Heroes, host Nef Dukes chats with Dr. Jesse Fidelio Garza, the Technology Integration Coordinator at Los Fresnos CISD. Jesse shares valuable tips for teachers interested in creating introductory videos and encourages them to “sharecase” their content across various platforms.

Jesse and Nef also touch upon the most popular tools used by teachers and students and demystify the gamification concept in teaching. 


👋 Name: Dr. Jesse Fidelio Garza

💻 What he does: Jesse is the Technology Integration Coordinator at Los Fresnos CISD.

🏫 District: Los Fresnos CISD.

✍️ Noteworthy: Jesse has always been passionate about cinematography and chose to become a film teacher. Today, he dedicates his time to helping students and teachers make the most out of technology and learning tools and to create high-quality content, especially videos. He is also a host of the Go Beyond Greatness podcast with Dr. Fidelio and has a YouTube channel. 

📱 Where to find Jesse: Linkedin | YouTube | Podcast

Key insights

We're moving from a print classroom to a pixelated classroom. Video long has been a part of teachers' curriculum. However, the shift we are witnessing is that today teachers can create videos and use them to transform how students approach and adopt new lessons.

''[Video] transforms classrooms. It's a total shift. You can hear it; you can hear the excitement in the students' voices, giggling. They're wondering; they're asking a bunch of questions. Everybody is hyper-engaged. [...] Screencastify is a game-changer, because teachers are able to create their own videos. So gone are the days where teachers would show clips from YouTube or show clips that they've found.

"Now they can film themselves. Now they can film a slideshow, and they can play the slideshow, the multimedia presentation, or whatever it may be to the students. And they are fully in control.''

Technology and digital platforms allow us to learn from each other. The great thing about the age we live in is the availability of channels where we can share and consume different content. In addition, innovations have taken teaching to the next level by allowing students to use different learning tools and teachers to see what other educators are doing and apply it if possible.

''First of all, let's look at what's out there because not everything is replicable in our district, campuses, and classrooms. Our demographic of students may be a little bit different from others across the world. So it's like, 'How can we replicate some of this instruction, and how can we do it in a way that will not only allow the students to want to continue learning and foster that desire for lifelong learning but also allow the community insight into the great things that are happening?'''

Don't take students' opinions regarding the technology they use for granted. An approach the Los Fresnos CISD team uses and that Jesse is proud of is to conduct surveys designed for students to share their opinion on the learning software they use. Educational institutions should consider implementing this practice due to the value it provides.

''So you have your pre-K ... and then you have your second, third, fourth, and fifth [grades]. For them, we had  the logos of the different programs they use. And it was like, 'Click/ touch the program that you love the most; click/touch the program that you feel is the greatest program ever.' [...] We did that at the elementary level. At the secondary level, it was a little more descriptive. It was like, 'Why is it that you love this tool so much?' [We were] getting some feedback.''

See Dr. Jesse Fidelio Garza in our recent webinar below discussing video creation! ⬇️

Episode highlights

Making the most out of video — tips for teachers 👩‍🏫

''It's a matter of finding the level of comfort that teachers have with film, cinema, movies, and videos in general, all of which are so different but still pretty much the same thing. 

And so having those conversations with teachers and saying, 'Do you show film clips?'

And most of them will say, 'Yeah, I do.' [...] 

All the teachers I've met — every one of them — shows at least a 30-second film clip for something. [...] And usually, it's a lesson that they're super in love with. And that's usually where a teacher spends the majority of his or her time because they are so in love with that unit that they put the glitter, sparkles, and everything to make that lesson fabulous.

But then, there are other lessons that they may or may not love as much, and those are the lessons that we can enhance through the use of video.''

Encouraging teachers to share their video across different platforms 🎬

''The last thing we want is for a teacher to create a video and that teacher is now ready to share the video, but they're thinking, 'Where do I share this video that I just created?' [...] I don't want this video to fall in a vacuum, and nobody ever sees it.' 

[...] One of the recommendations [is to] share their videos on the learning management system, and that's Google Classroom for our district. For other districts, they may have Blackboard, it may be another program altogether. However, it's recommended that you share any video content that you create on the LMS.''

Gamification tools have grown in popularity within educational systems worldwide 🧩

''The students today like to have pop tests, pop quizzes, formative assessments in the shape and form of gamification, gamified tools, etc. And so tools like Kahoot!, Gimkit, and all of these different platforms started coming up, and we found that students loved them. 

And guess what, teachers also loved them. Then it became a win-win. 'Let's keep these programs. Let's keep supporting them. Let’s streamline these programs even more.'

One of those programs was Screencastify. Teachers adored the fact that they were able to save the videos, share them, continue editing them, submit them, and do all those different things.''

Highly quotable

[02:19] ''I am super passionate about film. I love cinema. And when I was working on my master's degree in creative writing, I did stand up at local coffee shops. I did those gigs, and I called them internships. I eventually started working as an uncredited background production runner for ABC Family.''

[08:24] ''If they are creating a video using Screencastify, teachers are wearing that film director hat, and they're able to make those choices and those judgments of what it is that they want to show the students who are ultimately the audience here.''

[11:03] ''I try my very best to let [teachers] know that it is okay to be a risk-taker in the classroom. And it is 100% okay if it doesn't work out the first time.''

[12:08] ''Teachers, students, all of us right now, if we're lifelong learners, then we're going to learn from this and we're going to move forward, and we're going to continue learning from that and move forward and so on.''

[19:25] ''We like to share all the successes that our students are achieving because that, to us, builds community.''

[20:38] ''With Screencastify, you're able to personalize the videos to individual students. [...] Screencastify has revolutionized how we differentiate instruction for all populations, and that has been a true blessing.''

[30:07] ''We have risk-takers in our district—teachers that will do whatever it takes to make sure that the students understand the concept and the content.''

[35:04] ''It's so important for our students as content creators in any space to know that they need to think before they post. [...] We need to make sure that our students are creating in a safe and secure way.''

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Screencastify Squad

Helping educators accomplish more, create visible success and inspire new ways of teaching.