Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What I Learned from Watching Student Produced Chemistry Videos

Assignment: Balance Word Equations Video

Use iMovie, Explain Everything or any software or app, you are comfortable with, to create a YouTube video explaining how to balance a chemical equation from a word problem including determining classification of the type of reaction taking place..  You may use any means necessary to explain the process, white boards, table tops, presentation software, pen and paper.  

Upon completing your video, post it on the class YouTube Site. 

email: $%$$%$%%$%$%$
password: %#$%#%$%$

Please copy and paste the url for your YouTube video in the WRITE SUBMISSION box below.

(We use BlackBoard as our LMS)

A   aluminum bromide + chlorine gas yields aluminum chloride and bromine gas
B   sodium phosphate + calcium chloride yields calcium phosphate + sodium chloride
C   potassium phosphate + aluminum nitrate yields potassium nitrate + aluminum phosphate
D   sulfuric acid + sodium hydroxide yields water + sodium sulfate 
E   zinc metal reacts with lead nitrate to yield zinc nitrate and lead

Your reaction is determined by where you are seated at your tables.

^Front of Room
Door SideLab TablesWindow Side 

In years past, I would have assigned a worksheet of 20 problems of balancing word equations for students to complete at home.  I wish I could say that I am the type of teacher that would have sat down and corrected each of the 20 balancing equations for each of my 50 Honor Chemistry students, complete with corrections and personal notes to help the students understand their mistakes, but I am a realist and like most of you this would have been a check your answers   with your partners and turn it in, check mark and record assignment. 

However, this year I am having students post videos on our class YouTube Channel. These videos are meant as a means of students demonstrating their understanding of the process of solving problems. Although it takes just as much time to sit down and watch fifty 4 to 5 minute videos as it would to correct the papers, I have found the time more beneficial for both me as an educator and my students. 

I have learned more about what my students understand and what I may need to evaluate in my own teaching as a result of students completing these videos. Not to mention that students now have a library videos demonstrating both good and bad problem solving as a resource for learning and review. 

Benefits of the Video Assignment

- Students make a more honest attempt to understand because their work will be on public display. 
- Students become more aware of the importance of process versus just finding the right answer.
- Students take greater ownership of their learning.
- Students can teach and learn from other. 
- Students are immersed in the technology.
- Students are creating their own learning resource.
- Students gain skills in organization and planning.
- Students develop presentation skills.
- Students utilize proper vocabulary
- Students self assess work. 

For me as an educator, I gain more from listening to a student solve one problem than I would correcting twenty problems.  I can see and hear where students demonstrate a thorough understanding and where there may be gaps in their comprehension of the material. I can determine which areas of the topic I need to re-teach and which students I need to pull aside for additional instruction. 

Every student has a movie studio in their pocket or backpack between all of the software and apps that allow students to make their own videos.  Putting this to use as a means of creating a teaching and learning assignment is almost a no-brainer.  The benefits in my classroom have been tremendous. 

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