Video Pedagogy Part 2: In the classroom
Bringing Filmmaking Into Your Teaching Practice
In this series of articles, I look at how you can utilise basic skills in smart-phone video-recording to incorporate video pedagogy into your teaching practice. In my last article, I discussed the benefits of integrating video into your teaching practice, and in particular, the processes involved in producing effective video content. In this article, I’ll be looking at some filmmaking ideas that will help you bring video pedagogy into your classroom, and I’ll also point you in the right direction when it comes to learning the basics for yourselves.
Video production is a team-based exercise, with each role equally important in its own way, and it’s this level of individual responsibility, (alongside the fact that making films is actually quite fun) that makes video production an ideal classroom activity. With that in mind, let’s get started.
Keep the video task short and sweet by using Flash Fiction or the 6-Word Story idea. Make the narrative simple so that the learners have to fill in the blanks themselves; you could even get them to try and tell a story in 10 seconds or less!
BONUS POINT… If you are feeling ambitious and want to really push the focus onto the pre-planning side of things, get the learners to do ALL the editing in-camera. So that’s no actual editing of the clips allowed – with everything having to be filmed in the correct sequence.
Use the Stream of Consciousness method to get your learners to write everything that comes into their head over 60 seconds and use that as the basis for a narrative (well maybe not quite everything!).
If you want a more artistic bent, have your learners create a title sequence for a fictional programme or brand identity.
Want to do something that incorporates research tasks? Then try a video podcast, debate or a sitdown interview on a class topic. And if you are feeling particularly ambitious, make it a multi-camera shoot.
If you don’t have the technology available to film, but still want to incorporate video pedagogy into your teaching then a great idea is to get your groups to pitch an idea for a film or TV show. Include what their roles will be, how they’d make it, and get them to present it to the group. This will still give them the individual responsibilities and allow their creativity to still shine through.
Tutorials on filmmaking
Whatever method you go for, give them some basic tutorials as a starting point. We know this might feel a little intimidating as most learners seem to be fairly comfortable with recording content, but unless they are doing a media-related course, they are unlikely to be familiar with a few of the essential techniques, and knowing these should allow you to run the production brief with confidence.
You can find so much online these days, but here are a few that I wholly recommend.
This will give you an idea on how to frame a shot by breaking up the screen into (you guessed it) thirds. It’s a really useful and simple technique that allows a budding filmmaker to produce something that looks a little more ‘professional’.
Not only does this link give you some tips on how to light correctly, but it actually does it with mobile content in mind – so you don’t need to have a ton of expensive equipment, as everything is designed to be recorded with your smartphone.
This link will give you some useful recommendations on how to get better sound from your phone, but if an external microphone is out of the question, we’d recommend using a second (hidden) phone to collect the audio… something that you can get closer to the subjects, and then syncing them up in the edit afterwards.
There’s plenty out there, and a lot of it’s really accessible for beginners.
Hopefully, that’s given you some useful pointers for project ideas, and sent you in the right direction for the basics in film production, and you now feel better equipped to incorporate video pedagogy into your classroom. If you’d like a little more detail about how to produce video content yourselves, we’d recommend heading over to our series on Academic Research Films (links shown below), where you will find details on camera and editing techniques, how to present to the camera, how to structure your video, and ideas on sharing your content.
With a staff portfolio that consists of HE marketers, Television & Broadcast specialists, and qualified teachers, Slate and Mortar is one of the UK’s leading content producers for the HE and FE sector. To speak to one of our team, get in touch today.
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