Can you feel excitement about flipping your classroom? We’ve seen countless other teachers doing it and it has forever changed the results of their students’ learning from mediocre to fabulous. Even the kids most in need are benefitting from accessing the best flipped learning videos. So let us imagine these ideas sound intriguing to you as a teacher:
- Duplicating and recording your lecture so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself
- Being available to students 24/7 without ever getting tired
- Freeing up valuable class time for hands-on critical thinking and ‘sticky’ learning activities
If this sounds like you, then welcome! We’ve got the best starter guide on flipped learning videos for you.
First-Timer Flipped Learning Videos
The next time you teach a new concept, video record your own standard lecture. Using your cellphone’s camera to simply record what you do in the classroom when you’re teaching on a normal day. You can get the kids in on this, having one student serve as the camera operator.
If you’re recording live, it may be hard to do and the kids might tend to giggle or skew the results, so prep them to ‘act normal.’ If they can’t, maybe they can ask questions because you’re trying to get as much information as you can on the first go. You might need to ask permission from parents or admins if you want to film in your class.
Alternatively if you don’t want to film in class, spend time after school and film that same lecture you’ve already practiced in front of your students.
Tools for Filming
- Smart phone camera (if you don’t have one, someone’s got to have one that you can borrow)
- Tablet camera
- Flip camera
For all these, I would recommend a tripod. They will all save a file that you’ll need to navigate to and save to your computer.
This may be hard for some teachers, but try to actually sit down and spend some quality time watching your video. Not just once, but multiple times. Make notes and judge your own delivery as if you were a student. Engaging? Boring? Be your own worst critic. Do you want a do-over? If a student was absent on that day, and you told them to watch this video, would they learn what you wanted them to?
Better yet, get a colleague to review the video with you. It’s time consuming, but by examining what you do on a normal day, a few things will happen:
- Your teaching will get better, becoming more effective and succinct.
- Your ability to make more concise flipped learning videos will increase. I learned to cut out about 90% of my lecture. Most of what I said was fluff, repetition, and simply me wanting to hear my own voice.
Become an Expert Editor
Pay attention to the timing of the video as it plays. Learn to stop and start. Jot down time points up to the second that you would like to edit, annotate, insert diagrams, etc. This is like “marking the script.” By doing this you will know exactly what to keep, what to cut, and what to add.
To do the actual editing, here are a few recommended tools:
- YouTube’s video editor comes free, but it does take some time because all editing is done out in the cloud, over their network. With millions of users there’s a lot of wait time for you to see results. Only use this if you want to chop the beginning or end of your video off. Otherwise stick to apps that you can install.
- For Linux users, there’s Openshot.
- For Windows users, stick with Windows Movie Maker.
- For Mac users, iMovie is the place to start.
At this point you might want to be aware of some other tools. Maybe your video requires some close ups. For me, a music teacher, I’d want to have close ups of different instruments and their parts. I could insert these later as images, or make a separate video with these close up shots.
Sometimes you might want screenshots from your actual computer. Here are some suggestions for tools:
A simple option is to do a “single take” video where you just record raw, unedited footage of the demonstration and bring the camera closer to the object that you’re trying to highlight.
There are very easy doable solutions for beginner flipped learning videos. Just start filming and reviewing. You’ll get better and more knowledgeable over time. Take a look at these videos for inspiration:
In the end, you want your videos to be 10-13 minutes. What I’ve found in watching other flipped learning videos is that they don’t have to worry about “pacing.” Some flipped videos pack a whole lot of information in a short time, with not much pausing for reflection. This makes it a video that your kids can watch again and again if they need to repeat information.
Don’t Flip Out About Flipping
The bottom line is, don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about your first flipped learning videos being Hollywood productions. Start with Lo-tech solutions then add tools as you grow.
Remember, the time spent doing flipped videos cuts down on class time, differentiates instruction for the struggling student, and helps you improve your own teaching.
It’s a win-win. Get started!