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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Create Your Own Online Teaching Resources, Part 3 – Planning Your Presentation

Create your own teaching resource Part 3

Welcome to video 3 in this series, and here is where the fun really starts!  In parts one and two we have looked at the whys and wherefores of online teaching using videos, and it’s now time to start putting content together.

As a teacher, I use Powerpoint every day, and I really enjoy creating my presentations.  Each presentation helps me to really think through the topic area, and to sift out what is really important.  Powerpoint is my tool of choice – despite what others may say about it! 

When I first started teaching there was much debate about ‘death by worksheet’.  The commonly held opinion was that too many worksheets were being used, and many were of very poor quality.

The same has been said about Powerpoint – ‘death by bullet points’ is the frequently heard mantra.

To a certain extent I understand the ‘worksheet’ and ‘bullet-point’ debate.  There are an awful lot of sub-standard resources out there, which do little to enhance the teaching experience.  What we should be looking for is the quality of resources – if they’re no better than you’ve already got then don’t bother using them.

Classroom Of The Future

Classroom of the future

Are you still unsure that online teaching is the way to go?  This morning I received a link from Khan Academy to a video from USA Today titled ‘The Classroom of the Future”.  The video reported on the work of Knewton and Khan Academy, two of the leaders in developing online teaching.

The video is really worth a watch, and I’ve included it here for your enjoyment – just click on the image above to get direct access to the video report.

I’ve been a great fan of the Khan Academy for quite a while, but I’ve got to admit that I’ve not come across Knewton before.  Both organisations are passionate about making online learning affordable across the globe, and they really are making a difference.

I hope you enjoy the video and feel inspired to have a go at making your own resources.  But don’t worry, as long as there are great teachers there will always be a need for the reality of the classroom!

Until next time,

Graham

Create Your Own Online Teaching Resources, Part 2 – The Tools

Create your own teaching resource Part 2

I’m a great fan of the TV programme ‘Grand Designs’.  I just love to see the buildings being erected from start to finish, and I marvel at some of the craftsmanship on show.

But it doesn’t matter how gifted you are as a craftsman, if you havn’t got the right tools then you can’t get the job done.

The same idea applies to creating your online teaching resources – if you havn’t got the right tools for the job then all your efforts will be fruitless.

In my second video in the ‘Create Your Own Online Teaching Resources’ series I describe in detail all of the software and hardware tools I use in order to make successful videos.

Many people may be a little cautious about dipping their toes into the video-production market, and quite rightly may not wish to invest their money in resources they might never use again.  I fully understand this view, and when I started out I used as much free kit as possible.

Valence Electrons – An Example of an Online Resource

Valence electrons resource

My previous blog post was the first in a series in which I will be describing how I put together my online video resources and how I produce and upload them.  At this point I thought that I would show you an example of the sort of products I enjoy creating.

I have another site where I upload science revision videos, and to date my videos have been watched nearly 16,000 times – not bad for a channel that has only been up and running for a short time.  I have offered to make revision videos ‘on demand’, and it has been really rewarding to receive requests from viewers for specific topics.

The video ‘Valence electrons’ was recently requested, and from beginning to end must have taken me about three hours. The majority of this time is spent putting together the various Powerpoint slides – the recording phase is relatively short (except today when anything that could go wrong did go wrong!).

Create Your Own Online Teaching Resources!

Create your own teaching resource

In recent blog posts I have discussed the relative merits of blended (flipped) learning and spaced learning.  Both of these approaches can impact significantly upon your teaching, and upon the success of your students.  Just this morning I have checked on a spaced learning resource that I put up on YouTube for my students in preparation for a test, and it was really heartening to see how many hits there have been – my time has obviously not been wasted!

Feedback received from the blog posts has been really positive, but one of the questions I keep getting asked is “how do I develop the video resources for my students?”. 
Such a good question, and I’ve decided to do something about it!  Over the past couple of years I must have produced several hundred online videos, and my hit counter of YouTube is now fast approaching 100,000 hits.  My daughters can’t believe that their dear old dad is such a success on ‘the Tube’!

Better Memory Retention With Spaced Learning

Spaced learning

Do your students find it difficult to take in and retain the facts that you’re teaching – I’ll bet they do!  Schools invest a lot of time and money encouraging their students to effectively revise.  As a teacher I find it frustrating that even though I may have flagged up a forthcoming test over and over again, I can guarantee that only a handful of my students will actually make any effort to revise.

Throughout my teaching career I have looked for better ways to encourage revision, and I’m still in search of that holy grail.  Recently I came across a reference to ‘spaced learning’ so I thought I should investigate in more detail and give it a try.