Saturday, 14 February 2015

Filming Instructions for Science Lessons

In April 2014 I attended a training day run by teachit about making videos. I was inspired by James Rolfe from Judgemeadow School and his use of video.

Since then I have made quite a few videos of instructions when I have felt it extremely useful. Some of them are on my YouTube channel, a few are not. All of the. Have had an incredible impact on the way practical work has gone in my classroom. My practice has changed in a way that it hasn't been before.

The first one I made was instructions on how to do a onion cell prep for Year 7. I made it using my iPhone held up in a clamp stand. Although I had to have a couple of goes as I was interrupted by the technician during filming. It wasn't easy to hear my own voice or see myself on the screen when I showed it to the class. The lesson went so well, the girls got on with the practical with little assistance in the procedure and I was able to discuss what they were supposed to be learning instead of correcting mistakes with the practical technique.

I have a 30 minute lesson with year 10 on Monday last thing. By making videos I find it quicker to give instructions, and the girls do the experiment more efficiently then if I give a worksheet or do a demonstration. This means they can get more done in that time.

I decided to get Year 6 to test for vitamin C, it involves weighing and squashing fruit then dissolving it in 100ml of water, adding 5ml of starch and counting the number of drops of iodine added until it turns black. Easy for a ten year old to follow? I made a video, they watched it and carried out the experiment without fuss. The bits they found hardest were the bits I didn't put on the video like wearing safety glasses.

I have used video in other ways too. For example I have created videos using explain everything to run through worked examples for suvat and momentum equations. The girls like them. The information appears on the screen and there isn't a teacher's arm blocking the view like when I write straight onto the board.

I have also been using Adobe voice to talk over slides, this allows me to make short videos for revision.

Yesterday Year 7 carried out a titration to neutralise two unknown alkalis. I videoed myself again. It gets easier to hear yourself. My voice has got softer, I can cope with what I look like.

I am now on half term, but I have brought home lots of electricity equipment as I intend to make more videos ready for next half term.

If you find yourself having to explain an experiment to each group even though you have demonstrated it then I throughly recommend filming yourself giving instructions. My descriptions are clearer, more concise and the large visuals projected onto the board mean everyone has a clear view.

Initially it takes time to put videos together, and hard to hear your voice, but after making a few it gets a lot quicker and easier. Give it a go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Do you watch the video as a class instead of you doing a demo first, or do they have the video to watch on their technology as a small group?

    1. I show them the video on the screen instead of me doing a demo. Making a video means what they are looking at is bigger and my explanation is clearer without interruptions. They could watch it again, but so far we haven't needed to.

  2. That's useful to think about, thank you. I'm still on the very simple experiments with my groups, partly because they don't appear to have done practical in KS3 (don't ask), so I'll have a think about that