This is the 99th video to appear in our library and was suggested by Common Craft members. Watch it here.
What it Teaches:
Like footprints left on a trail in the woods, our digital footprints leave evidence of what we do on apps and websites. This video explains the concept of digital footprints, why they matter and how to reduce the risk of digital footprints in the future. It teaches:
What it means to have digital footprints
Why digital footprints are tracked and saved by organizations
What actions leave digital footprints
How your digital footprints could be used in the future
For generations, students learned concepts in the classroom and then practiced at home. Today, an idea called the flipped classroom is changing this process and helping teachers make better use of class time. This video explains the flipped classroom.
What it Teaches:
This video explains the flipped classroom and why it is being adopted by teachers. It illustrates problems many teachers experience in the traditional format and how the flipped classroom can help solve them by considering the most effective use of both class time and homework. It teaches:
Why learning and practicing are essential parts of the education process
How the flipped classroom is changing how we think about learning and practice
How the flipped classroom impacts teachers and students
What many teachers will need to flip their classrooms
Why the flipped classroom may not be best for every student and situation
This video tells the story of an instructor named Mariam. She learns to use instructional objectives to plan her lessons so that her students can demonstrate what they learn in a measurable way. It teaches:
Why instructors need measurable results
Why instructional objectives are important
How instructional objectives inform lesson planning
One of the things that makes us happy is knowing that teachers and students have been inspired by our work. A couple of years ago we started to notice videos appearing on YouTube that students produced in class and called "Common Craft Style" videos. There are now over 2000 on YouTube.
Yesterday I was browsing the videos and saw this one, which totally made our day:
1. ‘Know what the students know’ when planning your explanation: All great teachers have an excellent knowledge of their students. This knowledge is paramount in pitching the explanation just right. Vygotsky’s ‘zone of proximal development’ is key here – the explanation should be matched to the audience: not too complex as to be unintelligible to the students, but not too simple or unchallenging so as to bore the students and prove uninteresting. By knowing your students you can adapt your language to draw upon their prior knowledge before activating links to the new knowledge that you wish them to learn.
3. Make explanations simple, but not simpler. [...] Convey a core message: Effective explanations therefore do need to have the power of compressed language. A good proverb, like “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones” has an enduring power. It generates ideas, sparks connections and combines both easily digestible language and memorable imagery. [...] I would argue that most extended explanations can be compressed into such a memorable statement – what acts as the core message of our explanation.
4. Engage their hearts and minds: [...] As most charity advertisements will attest, individual stories that spark empathy and interest prove much more memorable than mass scale problems or abstract concepts.
5. ‘Paint the picture’ – use analogies, metaphors and images: Cognitive science has proven that analogies and metaphors are crucial to language, thinking and memorising knowledge (see here). [...] By using imagery and metaphors that evoke mental images, students can make mental hooks into what they already know and better organise their new knowledge.
6. Tell compelling stories: Memorable personal stories brings History and facts alive; dry statistics become enlivened when in the context of a story. 64% of students achieving A grades in exams is interesting, but not nearly as memorable as stories of individual students toiling and overcomes tough circumstances to gain an A grade.
Some of you will notice that these are many of the same points I cover in The Art of Explanation. It's great to see others out there thinking along the same lines. Perhaps it's not a surprise though. Explanation isn't a new discovery, it's as old as language itself, we're just starting to think differently about how to do it better.
When people ask about the inspiration for our style of videos, I often say that our videos reflect the way that I wish I had learned in school. My learning style wasn't a good match for the way I was taught.
Recently we completed a custom video project with the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) that focuses on a Project Based Learning or "PBL", and boy did it open my eyes. I can now see that I needed teachers who put PBL to work. I needed to get up from my desk and engage. I needed to work on a real-world issue and use creativity and problem solving - what are known as 21st century skills these days.
The video below is an introduction to PBL and how it impacted a science teacher's students and helped their community.
It was a pleasure working with Alfred and the team at BIE and I hope this video will help them get more people interested in PBL. You can learn more at BIE.org.