My students learn nine different types of essay forms in one semester. Instead, of getting them to write essays for each form, I try to introduce them to types of writing activities we do now, which emulate these forms. I think it’s important for students to learn the different types of writing forms and the processes associated with them so they can apply them to creating videos, infographics, multimedia presentations, podcasts, and other digital creations. The following is a description of how we create DIY (Do It Yourself) videos. Keep in mind my students are beginning writers preparing for their first year of Freshman College English the next semester. Creating video tutorials is the first mission in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions.
First, we analyze the four basics of good process analysis and the organization details from the book, Real Essays Interactive, by Susan Anker. Then students complete this handout (click to copy) to evaluate one of the well-produced DIY videos of their choosing posted on the Darby network. Most of the videos do not include any writing so students create a thesis and write down the steps from what they observe. This helps them identify the steps, clearly word them, and also place them in order. Students also identify the audience and purpose.
The final steps are for students to work by themselves or in small groups to storyboard their DIY videos (copy this handout), record them, then produce them with a video editor of their choosing. For a few video options, click here. We then revise and edit videos before posting the final ones. Below are my students’ DIY videos. I am very proud of them. Some need a few edits, but overall they did a fantastic job!
Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!