I have been meaning to do this all year, but things don't always happen on my time table. Today I finally finished setting up my Digital Video Reflection area. My plan has been to have a place where students can jump in and make a quick video where they talk about their learning and then post it to their blog or the class ning. I believe that reflections is the most important step in the learning process and I want to be able to facilitate it in my school.
Why did I set this up when students are perfectly capable of writing their reflections? The answer is simple, because it is awesome! Let's face it, we live in media rich culture. Why read when we can see a picture; why see a picture when we can watch a video?
Why put up the students reflections where they can be seen by others? The same reason I write these posts, because I want people to see them, reflect on them, and hopefully leave a comment. My students want their learning validated just like I want to have my learning validated.
Here is my set-up. I use a Logitech webcam mounted on a tripod (with masking tape) to get enough elevation for the picture. The webcam is hooked up to my laptop along with my Blue Snowball microphone. Although the sound is not as loud with the Snowball, the students don't have to wear the headphone/microphone combo.
I set up a barrier so that the student recording wouldn't feel watched as they create their videos. It is hard for many to put themselves "out there" with their recordings and this can help them feel more comfortable.
This shot is from the back. I put the screen behind the student so it looks a little nicer than the wall/window combination. I plan on getting a few more screens to place around to cut down on the background noise and to make the student more comfortable. It looks raw, but if you have ever been to a television station before, only what shows on the camera matters.
Here is Yessy doing the first video reflection on the new set-up. She does an amazing job with her explanation. After she was finished I had her post the video on the seventh grade class ning. It will be used as an excellent example for the other students to emulate.
I would love to be able to set up a station like this in each classroom so that students would have access to them all the time. Imagine students having a Youtube channel that is devoted to what they are learning!