Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shift Happens: The Power of Video

I just finished taking a powerful course through RETN and Southern New Hampshire University titled "From Idea to Impact:  Harnessing the Use of Video in your Classroom."

Because I am camera shy and prefer to work behind the scenes, this course was a huge opportunity for growth.  It stretched me, made me think deeply, and challenged me in ways that few other courses have. My approach to teaching and assessment has shifted as a result of this class.  I cannot recommend it enough.

During the course of one packed week, eight of us worked under the guidance of award-winning instructors and video professionals.  We learned how to work in teams to storyboard, shoot, edit, and distribute a relevant, high-quality video production by planning and executing projects from idea to impact.

As we grappled with what it means to use, practice, and assess 21st century skills with our students, we created, collaborated, communicated, and solved problems in ways that most of us had never done before. At the start, we experienced the pressures of wanting our projects to be the best they could be.  We over-thoughts things.  We worried.  We feared judgement and failure.  We grumbled at the limits of time that repeatedly interrupted us in the middle of meaningful work.

These feelings had been engineered:  we were supposed to feel inadequate, frustrated, harried, scattered, and nervous...just like many of our students do when the focus is on grades.

Then something shifted.  We accepted the fact that failure is vital to growth.  We understood that artistic process is at the heart of deep and meaningful learning.  We brainstormed, researched, drafted, received feedback, and revised revised revised.  We looked back reflectively on where we'd started and were grateful for the opportunity to feel proud of how far we'd come together.

While this is my final product, it was the PROCESS of experiencing collaboration in a new way that will make me a more compassionate and effective teacher.