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Four Reasons to Record Your Teaching

"Flipping the classroom" has been a great means for instruction that has become very popular in the last decade. Students watch a video of instruction at home, perform an activity in class while the teacher facilitates collaboration and conversation, and students master skills at their own pace. It is extremely powerful, but flipping the classroom isn't the only reason to make video of your instruction. Students can also watch videos of instruction during class while you work with individuals or groups of students.

Four Reasons to Record Your Teaching

  1. Personalizing learning is a buzz word right now amongst teachers. Making a video of yourself teaching allows you to do just that. One of the most difficult things about making learning "personalized" is the fact that there is only one of you amongst the whole class of students. You are certainly outnumbered. By making an instructional video, you are freeing up class time to work with individuals or small groups of students that need to head in a slightly different direction. The instruction and task you want the kids to accomplish can all be a part of the video. 
  2. Teach it the way you want it taught. There are a ton of instructional videos out there, but how many times do you run across one that you wish would have been explained differently. Maybe a video that includes a part that isn't applicable to your students and you really didn't want it in there. Ultimately, if you make your own video, you know what is being taught. You know what content is in there. You know your students' needs and what materials are going to best meet those needs. 
  3. Students take control of learning. If a student doesn't understand a concept that was to be learned through your video, then that is there own fault. The biggest advantage of video is that the students can pause and move throughout the video to wherever they need to go. My daughter, when she was in kindergarten, learned how to tie her shoes through a Youtube video. It worked great because she was able to watch the video over and over until she had it mastered. At the age of six, she was able to move the video to the parts she needed to make sure she grasped each part. This worked great for her...and was a lot less frustrating for me!
  4. Not all students are present all the time. Sometimes students are absent. Sometimes they are pulled out for various interventions or other opportunities. Anymore, I hear this complaint from teachers more than any other. It is difficult to teach because not all of the students are there at the same time. So there might be gaps, and a video may work great to fill those gaps. Another option to fill this void would be to just video yourself teaching in front of the whole class...which I have an example later where a teacher actually chose to do just that. 
With this thought, I went ahead and made a few samples so that teachers could see what it might look like.

Sharing Friends Math Video

Below is a video I made for first graders on how to create your own addition story. I made this using Screencastify and an iPevo Ziggy camera. I taught this lesson like I would have in front of students using real objects. I also asked them to do the same activity with their own objects.

Google Classroom and Dochub 

In this video, students learn how to use Dochub to write on a PDF from Google Classroom on their Chromebooks. This video would work great as you first start assigning these documents as a reference for students that forget steps. All you have to do is include it as part of the assignment as a reference guide. The students can go back and find the pieces of the puzzle they are missing.

Mrs. Minick's ToDo Math Video

After I made my first grade lesson, I sent it to one of my first grade teachers to just get an opinion. The very same day, I received two videos from Mrs. Minick  on tutorials she made for iPads apps her students are using. The video I'm including was made with her students in class. Any students that missed it, will be able to watch her video and catch up on the material later. Also, the video would be useful for the following school year. Mrs. Minick really captured the essence of saving time as it only takes a few more seconds to push record on Screencastify and let it go. I look forward to seeing more from her! 

Where to Start

Screencastify for Chrome is a great resource for making recordings of your screen or even using a document camera. I've used multiple tools that perform the same task, but Screencastify is unique for the ease of use and streamlined process. Users can dump their videos straight to their Google Drive or Youtube account, adjust the privacy settings of the video, and have a direct link to it all within Screencastify. This allows the user to find all their videos from Screencastify instead of searching through their Google Drive or Youtube account. 

I will be making more specific instructions on how to utilize these tools in the near future. 


  1. So true for kids that are absent this is huge. Putting kids in control of their learning... It is totally different to try to train kids to watch with a purpose and then self direct! My students love it. It is amazing to see what they can do when we give up the control ( really not though because they may actually hear you and get you without 20 voices interrupting. ) My kids LoVE it! I think they like virtual me better than real

    1. Awesome, Christina! Keep those bits of input coming! :)


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