One of the new methods for providing direct instruction to students is to do so using the power of the internet: YouTube, Vimeo, and other video streaming services. I teach 8th grade and mulled the idea over for a while during the school year and finally decided to give it a try. It was received with excitement by many of my students but the end product has not impressed me so far. 

   I record over my PowerPoints (in PDF version) using my iPad with the program Explain Everything and post them to YouTube for students to watch as homework. I provide students with a guide of questions or they have to practice taking notes on the material. I also provide hard copies to the students who do not have access to the internet at home. While it is beneficial to save a few days during a unit that can be used for other means I still have students who do not complete the assignment of watching the video online and they need that information. On average I would say 20-25% do not do it. I then have to track down those students and make them come in during their lunch, homeroom, or after school to get it done (and that is if I can get them to do that).

   Are students too young in middle school to do this? Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone else attempted this at the middle school level? I love the idea of if because then we can do something more meaningful in class.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

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I didn't something similar with 7th graders as an experiment and had the same result.  75% of the students viewed the video and passed the quiz that accompanied it, the rest chose not to do it.  To complicate things our school blocks YouTube so the students who didn't watch the videos at home couldn't make it up at school.  

The way I tried to set it up was a series of four short videos students needed to build background knowledge on an unfamiliar part of history.  Each video had a quiz that students had to pass before they could move on to the next one.  Instead of using videos in a series I am going to try and use one per unit or lesson and see if that is more successful.  

Did you "model" on "what" they should do?  Many students do not "get" that they need to pause, rewind, and watch again.  I say this not from my direct experience (I plan on venturing more this way next year) but from a math teacher in my building.  She said that at first, she walks her students through this process as a class several times before turning them on their own.  She said to me that she just assumed they would make use of the pause, rewind, and replay.  However, isn't this the same problem when teaching reading strategies within our subject areas.  Just a thought...

I'm going to be trying the flipped classroom this fall have have been hearing mixed reviews about it in the public school setting. I wonder if you start it at the very beginning of the year as a "set the tone of my class" activities if it would work better than adding it in later in the semester.

I am going to try it this year with my middle school students. In the past I taught 7th and 8th grade, this year all 8th. Your percentages for students not returning homework is what I averaged also so I was hoping it improved with the flipped class, I guess I will see.....


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