During the past two years in education, physical distance became a priority, schools were closed, and education went remote in a big way. As a result, teachers used video to record classes, lessons, and more, and shared them with students. But even with the end of the pandemic, schools will continue using video as they see the benefits such a tool brings to the students' ability to achieve.
In this episode of EdTech Heroes, host Nef Dukes welcomes Mandy Adams of Franklin Public Schools. Mandy and Nef discuss why teachers should use video in their classroom and its benefits in helping students to learn and demonstrate how they understand the material. They also share how video is a valuable tool when collaborating with the community.
👋 Name: Mandy Adams
💻 What she does: Mandy is a teacher and Technology Integration Specialist.
🏫 Company: Franklin Public Schools
✍️ Noteworthy: Mandy is a Google Certified Educator, a blended learning certified teacher, and a podcast host.
Video allows students to approach learning at their pace. As Mandy explains, the pandemic opened doors to new approaches that teachers were forced to take because of the lockdown and not being able to teach in person. But now, we see schools in Wisconsin school districts embracing innovations and continuing to use video as they realize how beneficial such a tool is to students.
''A student who missed class can go back and watch the video and know what they missed. It's not just a Google Doc with some bullet points; they're hearing their teacher's tone. They're hearing where there's an emphasis on certain words and what that looks like. And so, now we have students who were missing class before, maybe they're still missing physically, but they're able to make up faster.''
Students should also use video to explain what they've learned. Like many other educators on our podcast, Mandy also believes video is a tool not only for teachers to record lessons but also for students to show how they understood them.
''We've got students who are doing justifications. So, a student completed a project, and they followed all your directions, checked everything off: put pictures, put some text, it's got citations. Amazing. Well, no, now you can have them justify their project and their reasoning through their presentation."
"You can have them do that through video. Now they can see it, and you're hearing them explain what they learned rather than just saying, 'Here's a trait; here's a fact. Here's something I got off Google, and I paraphrased it in my own words.'''
Videos open doors to developing life-long skills. It's not a secret that almost all students (and we all went through the same) learn some things just to pass the exam; it's instant knowledge that they forget by the end of the year.
Video allows students to convert studying into a process. It's not only about learning particular facts; it's about using different sources to find information, whether written or recorded, and then using various formats to share how they understood it. That's why incorporating video enables students to develop skills they can use in every class, and later, in college and life.
''All of a sudden, this becomes a process rather than just an end goal, which is what we want students to do. We're looking at their growth. We're looking at their journey in education — the journey and those skills — and not just, 'Great, you have completed a project; you can graduate.'''
Video brings teachers and students together in a new way 🙋
''COVID opened the doors for us; it opened up this idea that video can play into the classroom. And what does that mean? And how do we meet those equity gaps? One of our biggest goals at Franklin is closing gaps and keeping up with the idea of equity.
And so, when we look at that, video can open up some of those doors and start to bring teachers and students together in new ways. A lot of it has been looking at tutorials, five-minute videos of, 'Hey, I need some support on this.' Or a student is struggling because they missed class because they got quarantined or whatnot.''
What post-pandemic learning will look like 🎥
“It comes down to the idea of what is best for the student and how do we hit every student. Not every student is going to be successful in a lecture style classroom. Not every student's going to be successful with having an online learning environment. We learned that; we know that. We have evidence to back that up from when COVID hit.
And so, I think that's where different instructional strategies and pieces of how you do something to get from content based to skill based. How do we get them to know the skill and transfer it from one class to the next class and the next class to life after high school?
So we created a process of, 'Teachers are going to do this, and teachers are going to do that.' And that worked well. And throughout the year, we'd progress, monitor with them, 'Ok, how did this go? What worked, what didn't work? What do you need more support with?'
And that's where I think videos play such a huge part. As we move forward with that equity piece, every student will have the ability to continue moving forward in their education, no matter what's pulling them back.''
Tech allows us to collaborate with the community effectively⚡️
"We have three really big goals in our district, which are a better place to learn, a better place to work in, and a better community. And so, throughout our whole district from elementary, middle school, and high school, we have different ways that we are utilizing community members.
At our high school level, we will do mock interviews. And so, they [students] set up a live interview with somebody from a job they would want in the future. You've got middle school doing those podcast projects, where they're reaching out to different community members and pulling them in.
And then, you also get down to our elementary level, where I was just with a teacher the other day who was making a video of her students playing their instruments and music. And she wanted this video to send out to the parents and some of our key school board members to show what they've been doing.''
[34:31] ''It makes us, as teachers, more of a part of a classroom and more a part of that relationship with students rather than it being, 'I'm the teacher; I have the power, sit down and listen to me,' which is a really daunting thing for a lot of kids, especially when they're just trying to figure out who they are. There's a power struggle at times. And so, when you can break it down to where it's not ‘me against you, it's me working with you, and we're supporting each other,’ it opens that door for the relationship to keep moving forward and progressing.''
[35:57] ''The biggest piece I'm going to go back to is that you don't have to be perfect. Nothing in this world is perfect. And as a creator of the video, as someone who's asking your students to make a video, we learn through our mistakes. And I think it's so important for teachers to realize that and take that stress and that pressure off of them.''
[42:01] ''The biggest thing I hear from parents, students, teachers, and outside people is that kids are on their screens too much. Well, yeah, I would agree with that. Because we're not necessarily using technology for a purpose yet. Once we get to that purpose of why we are using it now, that opens doors.''