I decided to try out my new video camera and set it up on a little tripod in the back of the classroom while I did an activity with my Algebra 2 class today. It was a very interesting experiment!
I told my students what I was doing, it was for my own personal use and to carry on as usual. Here are some of the observations I made while I was going through the activity:
It kept me really focused on my personal goals for the activity. I was working on wait time, giving clear directions, keeping all students focused/ engaged in the lesson. My lesson was a paper folding parabola activity. It was interesting to hear all of the paper rustling during the activity. My students seemed like they were more focused also. I asked them after I turned offf the camera if they thought they trying harder to focus and they told me that was not the case.
I also had them share their work and talk about specific points with their neighbor. When I played back the video I could see the students from a different angle and that was interesting to watch. The last thing I made a point to include in the lesson was sharing student work with the document camera.
One more bonus. The camera has a timer as it is recording, so I could see exactly how long the activity took. It seems like time constraints are the biggest deterent to doing activities. Having a timer running shows the importance of having enough time to allow for wait time, questioning and discussion to make sure all of the learning objectives are met along with the activity.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised to find the video camera one more useful tool from Algebra4All!