I am a teacher in a Greek elementary school and it is my second year in implementing Flipped Learning into my classroom. As I was creating videos for my class last year, an innovating idea crossed my mind. Why not engage students in the creation of videos? So, I gave it a try three times just to check if it was possible and to test out how successful student video creation could be. Making small steps, I created a scenario and gave it to each student. I made it so only one student could participated in a Math lesson, another in a History lesson, and yet another in a Geography lesson. The students who participated were not only very satisfied with their task but also from a survey at the end of the year I noticed that by far the most popular videos were the three with the students involved in them.
At present, the new academic season has seen this implementation on a regular basis, but with some further improvements. I involved students in video creation by asking them to work on the scenario of the video. How did I manage to achieve that? First of all, I have to mention that this year I’m only flipping the subject of Mathematics because of time restriction needed to produce enough videos. I am in the habit of making three or four videos per week for the Math lessons. One of the videos that I make each week has student involvement. I start on Monday with announcing the next video which students can participate in. I try to choose a topic of intermediate difficulty. To my astonishment, the vast majority start begging me (!) to be the next couple of students who get to participate in the video. I choose two of them and I spend some time explaining to them what the other students should learn from the specific lesson that the video covers. I ask them to study the topic from the book and the internet, to collaborate and make a nice story, and a plan about how to explain the new topic to their classmates. We set an appointment on next Sunday morning so they could have all the week to be prepared. On Sunday, the three of us meet in the empty classroom and we discuss their ideas of presentation of the new topic. After that, we make one or two test recordings with my video camera on the tripod while students talk and write on the whiteboard. When they are ready, they play the role of the teacher and I record them. At the end, we carefully examine the video and discuss questions and tasks that can be included in the video in order to make it more interactive for their classmates after watching the video. They return home awfully happy. I then only have to upload it on Edpuzzle and put what we have agreed in the video before I send it to the rest of the class.
From the reactions and results that I’ve observed in my students, it is clear that this innovative idea is successful. I would highly recommend it to other teachers who work with interactive videos and Flipped Learning. I believe that it does really work, no matter how short is the period I have implemented it given the fact that the intrinsic motivation is activated. Enjoyment of learning is emphasized and I can see this through their happy faces. The most striking feature of this idea is that students are learning while simultaneously enjoying creating the video. Even the weaker or struggling students, who were reluctant in studying, have changed their minds, requesting to participate in the video while learning. Every teacher acknowledges that the best way to learn something new is to make you teach about it. So the participants’ involvement deepens their understanding. After the recording they are supposed to be “experts” on the topic. They are engaged in learning procedure and they are active learners. But this is not the only benefit of the innovation. Usually, they process simple and clever ways to present the topic and the approach that they explain in their video is much closer to their classmates’ way of thinking. So, other students learn the topic in an easy and friendly way and certainly this approach is seen as better from the other classmates. Of course, I am never caught off-guard when it becomes necessary to correct something improper or to offer my guidance when it is needed.
Two of my students participating in the creation of a mathematics video.