Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video Learning

I was struck by the recent Khan video I watched ( ).  I thought is was interesting that he was promoting video viewing for homework, and practice for class work.  I decided to explore that idea with greater depth.

I created an It's Learning Course, Fraction Action, for my fourth grade students.  It's Learning is our school system's new learning management system.  As part of the course, I added videos.  I started to think about how students would use those videos.  Then I posed the following video learning discussion questions to my students:  What are the advantages and disadvantages of video learning?  Also, what actions can we do to enhance our learning from videos?

Students agreed that videos offered a multi-modal venue for learning: words, images, and sound.  Also, everyone agreed that you could watch a video again and again, and you could watch it anywhere you had Internet access via a computer or mobile device.  They commented that they liked videos that were entertaining.  Disadvantages included videos that were boring and dull to watch. Actions that help one learn from videos including note taking, writing down questions and drawing.  We will continue this discussion as students try-out video watching for homework.

In the meantime, their comments remind me that if we're going to use videos, we have to choose the best ones -- videos that are entertaining, educational, accurate and developmentally "just right."  I'm also thinking about the right balance for 4th grade learning related to videos, hands-on, classroom discussion, project work, paper/pencil. . .  I will continue to ponder these questions as education evolves.  Let me know if you have any thoughts.