Two years ago I was asked to talk at the Apple Distinguished Schools conference in London and to showcase vlogging in the classroom. This was something that I was trialling at the time and it was redefining the way my students reflect and assess their work at the end of a unit. Fast forward two years later and I was asked again to present at this year’s Apple Distinguished Schools conference. I thought it would be powerful to show impact that vlogging has had in my classroom, across school and within the wider community.
In this blog I wanted to share with you what I presented, to demonstrate the power and impact of vlogging for reflection and assessment of learning.
Before I used iPad in the classroom, end of unit assessments were written on paper. The students were asked four questions which would inform me of what went well and how they needed to improve. The students were also asked to give themselves a level and an effort grade. A lot of the time the students’ answers were very basic, lacking detail and sometimes only writing one or two word answers. I have found by using the inbuilt camera and asking the students to talk, their answers are much more detailed and higher quality.
At the end of each unit of work, students reflect and assess by creating a vlog. This is shared with me so that I can use it as evidence and also give them feedback. Higher ability students are more creative with their vlogs by including pictures, other video clips, titles and background music. This is a very engaging task and a perfect homework task as the students take pride and time in creating their videos.
Above is an example of raw video footage, straight from students’ iPad.
The more able students can develop their vlogs further. When iMovie’s new green screen feature was recently introduced, this gave students new opportunities to be more creative in their reflection videos. The video below was an idea for the #WormholeChallenge on Twitter. Creating a mini cinema as a way to display a video within another video. Here you can see the work being carried out and evidenced but also at the same time the student reflects on what they did that lesson using the Lego cinema.
My final slide (below) shows the Impact that vlogging has had on my students.
Some of the main points I spoke about in my presentation: –
- Using iPad offers many challenges to the students but the main thing I have noticed is how everyone can create now matter their ability. All students can create powerful vlogs just by recording themselves straight to camera or the higher ability students can be even more creative by adding in extra media and creating more detailed videos.
- My students are very interested in vlogging as they watch their role models on YouTube and Instagram. By giving the students the opportunity to create their own vlog, this is a very engaging task for them.
- By vlogging the students develop many skills but I have been particularly pleased with the impact on the students confidence. When I started vlogging in class a few years ago, the students were really shy of the camera and it would take a few minutes of convincing to get them to even start to record. Today, it is quite a natural process and normal for them to record themselves at the end of a unit. I just tell them I’d like a vlog reflection and they go ahead and load the camera app!
- Setting the vlogging task as homework is preferred by a lot of students. This is because they can film themselves on their own in a quieter environment. They can also take their time and record many different takes until they are happy with their video.
- Vlogging has also reduced teacher workload. This is because they record themselves performing then share it with me. Before the students had iPad, I would have had to record all students. It is also a lot easier and more engaging to watch the vlogs and feedback digitally, rather than mark hundreds of sheets of paper which usually only contain short answers.
- Another positive point about vlogging is that by using video the students are creating first-hand evidence for the teacher, leadership or visiting inspectors. This vlogs shows the actual student demonstrating the knowledge gained and you are able to hear directly from the student on what well well and how to improve.
If you are interested in vlogging in the classroom or would like more information, please contact me through Twitter (@HopkinTeach) or you can download my book ‘Classroom Vlogging’