How to Use Video Creation to Promote Student Discourse (Ep 8)

June 18, 2019 / By

Communication around concepts (e.g., content we want students to learn) should be more than just a teacher articulating what the learning goals are. This communication must occur among students as well, and the teacher can help initiate this through any of the following ways: extracting thinking to the surface, prompting questions, clarifying ideas, moving ideas forward, revealing misconceptions, and making key concept connections clear, meaningful and applicable.

How many times have we asked (or, more like told) students to do an activity without engaging them in a way that makes the activity feel relevant and meaningful? It’s important that students can explain why they are doing a particular activity, how it’s related to other subject areas, and, most importantly, other areas of their daily lives.

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Transcript

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Deeper Learning with WeVideo Podcast. I am Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad, and this is episode number eight. In this episode, I want to share with you how to use video creation to promote student discourse. All right, let’s do this.

Communication around concepts … for example, content we want students to learn should be more than just a teacher articulating what the learning goals are. This communication must occur among students as well, and the teacher can help initiate this through any of the following ways: extracting thinking to the surface, prompting questions, clarifying ideas, moving ideas forward, revealing misconceptions, and making key concept connections clear, meaningful, and applicable.

How many times have we asked, or more like told, students to do an activity without engaging them in a way that makes the activity feel relevant and meaningful? It’s important that students can explain why they are doing a particular activity, how it’s related to other subject areas, and most importantly other areas of their daily lives. When asking students to discuss concepts, we must go further than telling them to share your answer with their shoulder partner or a turn and talk. Their conversations should be built on a prompt that’s engaging, instructionally challenging, highly cognitive, and conducive to multiple entry points and solution pathways.

Prompts to initiate discourse are posed in ways that invite wonder, speculation, and exploration. Student discourse doesn’t happen just by telling students to get into a group and work together. One way to turn a challenging prompt into an engaging discourse opportunity is to have your students create an engaging video reflection. In this learning experience, students are engaged by questioning the reasoning of their peers. Strategies that work well in this collaborative environment include wait time and think time, turn and talk, think, pair, share, think, write, pair, share … and one of my favorites think, pair, on air.

Instead of sharing their conclusions and thinking with the class, students can create a video to share on the class YouTube channel. Allow your students to find a space to record their video reflection. This can be done at their desk or at a designated space for video creation. If students need alone time, allow them to record at home or find a supervised place at school where they can spread out. Based on the prompt, teachers should encourage students to talk on video about how or why they did what they did, or what they believe. Most importantly, the classroom culture must support curiosity and sense-making, which is reflected in the questions that students ask in their reflection videos, and also to one another.

Once students have shared their videos with the class, it’s important that students build on one another’s thinking and generate arguments based on the videos they viewed. Additionally, teachers ask for justification, and encourage students to question and extend their own thinking even after the video creation process.

Student discourse plays a crucial role in developing higher level cognitive thinking. This student discourse video experience provides students with multiple opportunities to share, compare, contrast, reflect, revise, and refine. The think, pair, on air allows students to process their own thoughts before sharing with another student, then allows them to organize their thinking and creative and meaningful ways after discussing with other students. The next time you ask your students to share with a partner, try this activity for more rigorous, engaging, and meaningful experience.