When I was in school I often got papers back from my teachers, especially my English teachers, with lots of red marks all over them, a few comments, and a grade at the top. Did I closely check each of them? Did I carefully scrutinize all of the comments and make my papers better? Often the answer is no. But what if....
I got a recording of the teacher talking to me about my paper? What if I got individualized feedback from my teacher where he or she is talking to me. This idea came from a number of great English teachers and they report great results as they essentially flip the writing conference. The problem with writing conferences is that they take up so much class time. And when you are meeting with one student, what do you do with the rest of of your class? Essentially, you record your writing conference at your convenience and the student gets an individualized video of the session. This idea was not mine, but some of the English teachers in the Flipped Learning camp.
I have seen teachers doing this but have wondered how easy it would be if I could do this with a document camera. I was at a conference in December and got a chance to see a quick demo of the Simplicity Cam by RecordEx. (http://www.recordexusa.com/) The thing that caught my eye was its ability to capture BOTH the document camera AND the built in webcam on my computer. I told them how I thought this could be used and they sent me a demo unit. I wanted to see how easy it would be to “do a writing conference” using their equipment. I was surprised at how easy and seamless it was. Why do I think it is great to have both the webcam and the document camera working in tandem? I believe that a good education starts with relationships with students. And simply having your face in the picture humanizes the video for your student.
Below is the “writing conference” video that I made.
This was really easy to do. After I have the video, it comes out as a mov file and I can upload this to a variety of places. If you are a google school, I would upload it to my google drive and then share it with the appropriate student (And maybe their parents). This was really easy, which I believe is important if we want teachers to implement this change.
So, what do you think? Would flipping your writing conferences help your students become better writers?