Why DIY videos are easier than you think

eSchool's columnist shares how he overcame his fear of making videos

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for my students to learn from video.”
—Me (until a month ago)

I’ve been afraid to have my class learn from video for most of my career. I’ve told myself, “You can’t replace good whole group instruction.” I’ve advocated vehemently for teaching in front of the class for years.

Here were my reasons:

1. I always felt like my strength as a teacher was my ability to explain things clearly and relate to students who may not have been successful in the past. I’ve always prided myself on my ability to scaffold understanding and identify misconceptions. Video can’t replace that.

2. I have searched the internet high and low for videos that I feel are good enough for my students. Most of the videos I find online don’t teach concepts the way I want them to be taught.

3. Creating my own videos seemed like a lot of work up front that I didn’t have time to do.

4. I fancy myself a pretty engaging and funny guy. Why wouldn’t my students want to be subjected to my dad jokes?

Here is why I was wrong:

1. Using video in class will never replace me; in fact, it will enhance the work I am doing. Videos free me up from the front of the room and allow me to do more of the good work of identifying misconceptions and helping students individually.

2. If I create my own videos, I don’t have to worry about the intricacies of how someone else is explaining my lessons. In the time it takes to find a good video, I could have already made one myself.

3. After making my first set of videos, I was surprised that it really didn’t take that long. I would much rather spend half an hour after school making videos than repeating the same notes multiple times in a row during the school day.

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