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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I watch a cooking show and I want to cook. How does this apply to my teaching?

View my Screencasting 101 presentation here. 

I watch a cooking show and I want to cook. How does this apply to my teaching?

It applies in several ways: First, teaching must be inspirational. When you present a lesson, you must do so with gusto. Bring it to life! You are a salesman selling them a product that they don't think they need and may not even want. Overcome their reluctance with energy and enthusiasm. Make personal connections, make it look tasty and appetizing.

Which brings up the second point: Use whatever tools you can to make it appealing. Visuals, graphics, video are already the tools of advertising and persuasion - use them. Students already self-select video (particularly YouTube) and the internet as the means by which they learn the things they want to know about. Use those same tools in your lessons.

Thirdly, lessons have to be accesible. Cooking shows are not successful if people can't watch a show and say, "I can do that." Make the learning clear. Show it in steps. Present it in a way that students themselves can say, "I can do that!"

Last, lessons need to be repeatable. We already know that even top level students need to hear something many times before it sinks in. Struggling students need repetition even more. I love the Food Network website. I go and I watch the recipe videos over and over when I'm about to cook. When I'm actually cooking - especially in the middle of a multi-step process - I rewind and watch the videos over again to make sure I don't miss any important steps.

Screencasting your lessons and hosting the videos online allows your students to do the same. How powerful a tool is it to be able to reteach a lesson over and over again and not wear out your voice (not to mention your patience)? Students who are absent never need miss a lesson again. When they return, they can watch the videos and complete the assignments to get caught up. Parents who want to help their students, but don't have the content knowledge can watch the videos too.

Then, why not put a little Emeril into it and kick it up a notch? Have students screencast their own lessons! BAM!