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 kidsĀ 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.

Here’s what I have:
A lab procedure

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:

Clear Procedures

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.

Tech Background

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.

Takeaways

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.

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My #Made4Math 6: Online Exit Tickets

This one time, at math camp, @colinmac10 showed us how to use Socrative for exit tickets (and more!) if most students have a smartphone or laptop with them.

The Exit Ticket option will ask 4 questions. While students answer the first 3, you have time to create a question on the whiteboard. Very little advance prep is required and students can do the entire thing in about 2 min + time to solve the last problem.