Monday, April 09, 2012

Collecting Video Assessments

This week I had the opportunity to work with one of our Pre-Kindergarten teachers who records students and shares those videos with their parents. I've always felt that seeing a student explain their learning trumps any score that we as educators may place upon the work. This setup has the additional bonus of creating an academic history automatically for them. How powerful will it be to give parents a stream of videos of their children learning as a 1st graders, 5th graders, 7th graders and so on.

The biggest limitation to this idea is teachers not having the time to make it happen. Once again we go to the kids to take ownership of their work and manage the process. There are very different  technological expectations depending on the age level, so I cover three possible scenarios: 

Pre-Kindergarten to 3rd Grade 
(or students who are not able to operate a camera)

   STEP 1) Teacher sets up the camera 
              (or when appropriate has an older student help out.)
   STEP 2) Uploads the video into the child's Google Docs.
   STEP 3) Puts the video into a Collection shared with the teacher.

    A couple notes here, we are using a Kodak Zi8 camera similar to the popular Flip camera. Alternatively, you can get an Eye-Fi SD-Card which automatically uploads the video or picture to your own account. The teacher then has to share the video with the student for their parents to see.

4th Grade to 6th Grade 
(or students that are capable of uploading videos, but do not have a one to one device with a camera)

   STEP 1) Student records video with a camera or iPod Touch.
   STEP 2) Student sends the video or picture to their own Picasa Web Album.
The album is shared with their teacher, this only has to be done once.

7th Grade to 12th Grade
(or students who can record and upload on their own.)

   STEP 1) Student records them self with their webcam.
   STEP 2) Student uploads the video to their Google Docs.
   STEP 3) Student slides video into Collection shared with their teacher.

This is a terrific way to capture quick reflections by the students. The video adds an element to the conversation by essentially formalizing an informal assessment. It's something you might just ask generally in the class, but with the video you get to see each students reaction singularly without the distractions of the classroom.

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