Explaining Lab Procedures w/YouTube
I didn’t have to explain myself 17 times in class today. That’s enough of a reason to explain lab procedures on video, if you ask me.
Suppose you’re doing a lab with a physics class and there’s a set of directions your kids never read. Year in and year out, you are convinced you have the clearest set of directions yet year in and year out, the kids can’t figure them out. Yeah, that’s me, too.
In about 10 minutes this morning, I filmed myself carrying out the procedure. 10 minutes includes prep time, filming time, and upload time. The result, I think, conveys the procedure efficiently:
My first career included a lot of technical writing. That’s right, I wrote software manuals for a living (be jealous — all the ladies treated me like a rockstar!). My goal was always to condense the text to the fewest words possible.
My procedure uses bullets to further condense the text and feel like a checklist.
The image is there to illustrate what I’m describing. Kids will often “look at the pictures” before reading.
In my professional opinion, my written procedure is tight. That being said, through either a deficiency in their reading or patience, many kids had trouble following the procedure. So I tried the video. Initial feedback is positive.
I teach at a 1:1 laptop school with Schoology as a learning management system. I wrote the lab and posted it to Schoology with the video links included.
The best part? I didn’t have to explain myself 17 times in class today. That’s enough of a reason to explain lab procedures on video, if you ask me.