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Pre-recording videos for children and parents has become my new normal during lockdown. I must admit, when conversation quickly turned to continuing this practice when back in the classroom I felt sceptical about it being potentially a time-consuming add-on. Becoming more tech-savvy and less precious – not re-recording every time I fumble my words or make a mistake – I am now excited about how we can expand our practice and our impact.
Finding space in jam-packed timetables and allowing the most qualified practitioners to offer interventions is a challenge in every school. The children that need to make the most progress deserve this attention. Collaboratively planned, pre-recorded teacher explanations can be used anywhere and at any time during the school day. A teacher can interject learning with an iPad and headphones, to groups or individuals, at the opportune moment to ensure no child is left behind.
Every teacher feels the frustration for students when learning is missed, whether this is due to illness, long-term medical conditions, valuable music lessons or a school play rehearsal. Record your screen and your verbal explanation in real time and that learning is locked in the Cloud forever. While uploading this video may be an extra task, the benefits to the long term attainment of our children could be much greater.
Often we find ourselves repeating explanations after the main teaching at a slower, more manageable pace for some students. We can now use our virtual selves to allow children to re-watch, pause and repeat at their own pace, freeing our physical selves to circulate the classroom. By pre-empting difficult concepts, we can record in real time and upload.
In my primary classroom, when most children are completing their independent work and I am working with a guided group, it can feel like I need to split myself in half to support everybody. Pre-recording a short video could allow children to independently access an explanation and model of their next steps, without interruption to the guided group. In a similar manner, a small group could receive video instruction to pre-teach a difficult concept.
The disparity between the quality of students work in class and at home is a discussion at every parent’s evening. Determined parents trying to help children to crack division at home can often lead to frustration (and tears). Often a child is trying to model a completely different method to that which their parents were taught. Parents want to know how we do it. Get the children to record an example of their method in class. Upload to the Cloud – now they can teach their parents and work in harmony.
I am lucky enough to work in a school where student and parent voices are valued and we receive feedback from both on our teaching. Are you about to teach that concept that the children struggle with every year? Why not offer your explanation up for critique? A meaningful dialogue between home and school could be ignited. Share a video of your explanation and you may be very surprised with the perspectives you receive.
These are just a few of the ways in which I will continue to record videos when schools are fully open again.
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