Irregular Vowel Movements

A distance education teacher making her way in the microcosm of Barrhead.


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The end of course development is in sight. I am on the verge of writing a small intro for the next section of workbook 7, and as per usual, I am all locked up about it because it has to be brief, concise, and fascinating for a 20-2 student. You might ask, “why make them read anything, at all?” The answer is because … well, there is no good answer to that. I think I just figured out my next move though. Who says writing isn’t meta…? 

I’ll explain. I keep thinking these little concise intros are necessary for transition from one aspect of the workbook to the next. I don’t want assignments to seem jarringly placed or inorganic. What I will do though, is stop being all freaked out about copyright for Youtube videos, and go find one that will hopefully talk about what I want it to talk about. That, or I suppose I could make one. 

Here’s a thing– making videos isn’t that complicated, but as soon as one is in the education realm and someone says, “oh, videos! Good idea,” it suddenly becomes highly complicated, very intimidating O.m.G. type-stuff.  Meanwhile, at home, I make videos all the time on my phone, in like twenty minutes.  Mind you, they’re about my cats or my husband, and they’re definitely not Spielberg quality, but Educational videos seem to cause sphincter contractions for all involved, no matter how gentle the process actually is, for all the wrong reasons.

If I see an educational opportunity, or have a brain-child for a video that would be educational, chances are, it’s not going to be the best quality. What I would focus on doing though, guaranteed, is ensuring it was engaging, educational, funny, and short but impactful. 

We’re working on a video for Personal Responses right now, and it is holding a lot of promise, but we noticed right away that it is quite easy for something that should be relatively simple to compose to be carried off into the great depths of “Extensive Movie-Making 101.”  It’s not feasible to spend a heck of a lot of time making ed. videos as a teacher– it’s commonly viewed as an extraneous time-suck. The question is then, how much time is too much time to spend? How much isn’t enough? How do we get it? 

Furthermore…are videos necessarily the ‘be-all, end-all?” They are treated as such, but I can think of a few things that arose out of Khan Academy a while ago that makes me think that the value of videos in education could be misunderstood possibly, or over-shot. 




Author: Kyla Coulman

English teacher at ADLC.

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