Cell phone videos are my newest experiment. It's technology that many students already own and it doesn't involve using their cell minutes, so it doesn't cost them or their parents anything.
Students created models and explanations for how the conservation of mass works during a chemical reaction. This aligns with the NGSS performance expectation PS1-5. The idea was that students had to design their own investigation, gather data and then turn that data into an explanation of what was happening at the atomic level...since we can't see atoms, what could they offer that would be good evidence?
The video had to include this explanation and had to be under 60 seconds. Other than meeting those 2 requirements, students were free to create anything they wanted. As you can imagine, what they turned in ranged from simply talking explanations to Bill Nye imitations to stop motion explanations. They've loved this way of communication and I saw them rehearse, self-correct, try again, until their explanations the best they could be.
Here's one example.
These students decided to use the TimeLapse setting on their phones to shoot the video and I think it worked really well for them.
I think this lesson also works for the SAMR model of tech integration because it pushes students to show their thinking. That's well beyond writing up a lab report. Hosting it on Google Drive allowed them to share it with me and I could put it in a public folder where they can watch and comment on each other's work.
I should also mention that this was a 3 day process. On Day One, we had a class discussion on their investigation results and try to generalize the class experience. I think this conversation helped them see the connections between their data and the law. On Day Two, we started off by filling out a graphic organizer I prepared that had them highlight the evidence they had to prove a chemical reaction had occurred and the evidence they collected to show COM. Once they finished that, student groups were able to start writing and rehearsing their scripts. On Day Three, students spread out all over the school in nooks and crannies to film their videos. Some groups rehearse first and then filmed while other groups filmed and then made revisions.
My point in telling about this video process is to explain that it wasn't something they would have known how to do without some help. I felt like the first two days of processing the information as a whole class and then as a small group was essential to making sure that the content of the videos was better.
They didn't need much help from me on the technical aspects....just a bit of helping them remember to browse to their file and upload it onto the Google Drive and others needed help in remembering how to share a file instead of emailing it to me.
I'd love to hear your ideas on this project and what you think I could do to improve it next time.