Previously on Tech Tips for Teachers, we explored some of the logistics of setting up YouTube channels and project ideas such as having students use them to create oral journals. Read on for four new ways to utilize student YouTube channels in your class.
At one point, I had about 30 students in an English as a Foreign Language/academic presentation class that met once a week. Thus, in-class individual student presentations were logistically impossible. I put students into small groups with the following group roles: presenter, time-keeper, recorder, evaluator. The presenters gave their presentations to the small group, the timekeepers timed the presentations with their phones, the recorders were responsible for recording the presentations with digital devices, and the evaluators filled out feedback forms for the presenters. They met outside of class and rotated roles. Then, they posted the videos of their presentations for me to view. In class, I checked the feedback forms to see if they were complete. Finally, I had students reflect on their performance and on the feedback that they received from peers.
With a webcam, a smart phone tripod, or a friend, students can record their presentations. Then, the students upload their presentations to their student YouTube channels where the instructor and/or fellow students can view them. Another advantage to students recording themselves is that they can observe their own timing, pacing, volume, delivery, eye contact, pronunciation etc. I find this to be helpful when assigning reflections.
Example: “Your topic is interesting; You need better eye contact; I understood you well.”
More advanced: “Praise, where you can improve, how you can improve.”
Example: “Very interesting topic! I think you need better eye contact. If you rehearse more, you won’t need to look at your notes as much.”
- Host a normal debate in your class (cats v. dogs, pro/cons of sororities and fraternities, etc.) For intermediate-advanced classes, I like to either provide the students with a jigsaw reading in class or assign research on the topic before class so the students are informed enough to hold the debate. I generally assign groups regardless of student opinion. Then, students have to develop the skill of arguing based on facts rather than bias. After the in-class debate, students create a YouTube video to express their personal views on the topics discussed in class.
- I like this collaborative lesson from Teacher Dude, which is a hybrid of in-class debate and post-debate response. Basically, give the students a sticky scenario to discuss, put them in groups, then the students post a video summing up the group’s discussion. This is similar to an activity I call “Table Topics” Students can have the small group discussion, then post their summary on YouTube.
- A third YouTube debate style suitable for an entirely online class is point-counterpoint video posting and video reply. The instructor assigns a controversial topic to each pair of students. The two students are then assigned opposing views. For example, Student A is pro Greek Life and Student B is against it. Student A posts the first video stating his/her first argument. Then, student B can create a video as his/her rebuttal and post a link to that video in the comment section of Student A’s video. Then, the cycle repeats at the teacher’s discretion.