Kendall Johnson is a Grade 2 teacher at Iron Ridge Elementary Campus within the Wolf Creek School Division in Central Alberta, Canada. With 33 schools, Wolf Creek educates a total of 7,200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Among many forward-thinking technology initiatives in Wolf Creek’s schools is the use of MediaCore to share videos and media between campuses.
We spoke with Kendall about her interest in how technology can support quality education, how she’s been using MediaCore with her class and the ways in which video can positively affect students learning.
Why do you think video is such a powerful tool for learning?
Differentiation is a key element of motivation, and introducing or reinforcing concepts using meaningful, quality video is a great way to do this. It's also a very effective way for students to show what they know and display personal creativity. With video as a medium and all of the editing apps available today, the sky’s the limit in terms of student learning, presentation and assessment.
What are the challenges facing educators who want to use video?
Safely sharing video is definitely a big challenge for teachers. Prior to MediaCore, I would either have to keep videos on my PC, which was extremely limiting as we couldn’t share them without saving them to a storage device. Or I would have to upload them to YouTube, which many parents were leery about. YouTube also had challenges for me such as loading speed, advertisements and inappropriate comments.
How have you been using MediaCore to incorporate video into your classes?
MediaCore allows us to store, organize and share our videos efficiently and effectively, so I've been using it to engage and spark student creativity with videos that are aligned with our curriculum objectives. This includes both content we've created and videos that have been adapted to fit our needs.
One of my favourite ways that I've been using MediaCore is to show video prompts for writing projects. It's astonishing to see how students react to a video that incorporates exciting actions and ideas with music or sound effects, versus a traditional sentence starter or picture prompt. All of my students — even the most reluctant of writers — are itching to get their ideas and details down in print.
Not only are video prompts a motivating way to get students to write, but their content seems to be much stronger because the videos have captured their imaginations in a deeper, more creative manner.
An example video prompt on Scooter Tricks. Students were asked to write a paragraph rich with ideas and details of the tricks that captured their imaginations.
How has MediaCore impacted on your students' learning?
MediaCore has impacted my students’ motivation, engagement, choice, and creativity. They’re excited to watch videos that either introduce or reinforce a concept and willingly focus in on ideas and information from videos.
It's also a different way for them to acquire and retain new knowledge. When sharing their learning, video allows students to demonstrate it in an endless variety of ways. MediaCore supports all these facets of student learning.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I also feel that video is a dynamic way for students to self-assess their own learning. For example, my students have watched videos of themselves reading their own work so they can reflect on a variety of concepts, such as fluency and expression.
I've also had students watch slow-motion video of world class long jumpers and compare it to video of themselves long jumping. The connections and realizations they make is so much more meaningful and effective than by me simply telling students how to correct or improve their jumping techniques. The students get to actually see their jumps, see their errors and ways they adjust, and can therefore build a more concise plan for improvement.