Multidisciplinary 30 • English Language Arts 34 • Biology 36 • Physical Education 39 • Computer Science 40 • Tip 42
If You Give a Kid a Video Camera ...
By Laurie O. Campbell
Laura Numeroff’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie begins: “If you give a mouse a cookie, then the mouse
will want some milk.” This cause-and-effect tale details the antics of a mouse
who eats a cookie and then wants more.
Apply that scenario to the classroom:
If you give a student a personal mobile
device, such as a video camera, he will
want to use it to learn more.
Students love to watch and create
their own videos using iPods, iPads,
cell phones, or portable video cameras. Just look at the sheer volume of
online videos that children post. So
it makes sense that students benefit
when teachers adopt the mindset of
using appropriate mobile video technologies in meaningful ways.
Ask the Right Questions
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When deciding how to use a technology tool, ask the following questions: How does using the technology
deepen students’ understanding of
the content? What are the pedagogical advantages and disadvantages of
using the tool for the content being
taught and the students who need to
learn the content? What role will the
device have? These planning questions, adapted from the Technological,
Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge
(TPACK) framework, help teachers
determine whether to incorporate a
particular technology into a lesson.
Once you have appropriate use in
mind, get creative and use video to
teach any subject. Here are some examples of how to use video cameras in
the language arts, math, science, and
social studies or history classrooms.
Using Video in Language Arts
Make one-minute videos. If a picture
is worth a thousand words, how
much more is the multimodal experience of video worth? I recently
had preservice teachers create one-minute vocabulary videos for their
future students on iPod touches for
whole-class, small-group, or individual instruction. Each short video
offered multiple exposures to a vocabulary word in a variety of contexts.
These strategies increase the likelihood that students will remember the
word and its meanings. The student
teachers used the videos to preteach
vocabulary. The next step was to assign their elementary students to create their own vocabulary videos using
the same iPods.
Analyze progress. Just as a football coach
reviews film with his team, a teacher and
student can review video of the student
reading. Together they analyze the student’s reading, and the clips provide a
record of the student’s progress.
Provide feedback in learning centers.
Using video can facilitate immediate
and relevant reflection about an activity
just completed in the learning center.
They can answer prompts related to
the best and worst part of the activity,
providing feedback for future activities.
Another use of cameras in language arts
learning centers is to answer questions
on camera instead of on worksheets. Stu-
dents can explain more in their answers
than they would if they were just writing.