September 30, 2019
Video is powerful. I believe in video. I’ve posted about video, here:
- Best Advice Ever–Part I (record videos of your kids)
- Some Assembly Required (video directions over printed directions)
- Playback, Reflect, Grow (seeing yourself teaching in video)
- #GridPlans: Flipgrid Your Sub Plans (using video for sub plans)
And now—Another video experience was one that I didn’t see coming…
As part of our North Carolina science standards, fifth graders get to learn about weather data. It’s not enough just to research the weather, though…
How much better would it be if fifth graders could actually… BE the Meteorologist?
Challenge: Wherever you are–report the weather (in one minute or less)!
This will be a lot of fun, because, with Flipgrid, they can record a video anywhere, anytime. Our weather report grid is accessible to students through our Google Classroom, upon signing in with their district credentials.
Can you just imagine how creative and dynamic these segments could be? Aspiring weather reporters could record from their backyard, grocery story parking lot, the local park, school playground, or even their family vacation over holiday or spring break.
Therefore, as their STEM Specialist, I definitely felt it necessary to provide them an example. Specifically, I wanted to capture and share the perfect weather report video. I wanted them to know what success looks like. After all, it’s super important for students to know their expectations. And, as eductors do, I pride myself on setting and demonstrating high expectations for teaching and learning.
That’s why I’ve never settled for a “good enough” video. At least not until a couple of years ago, that is. I’ve been blessed to surround myself with friends who tell me how it is. Simply put, they give me feedback. They keep me grounded. They tell me what I’m not seeing.
The most effective kind of feedback is when a trusted friend shines light on your blind spots.
That includes my receiving feedback–especially when it’s uncomfortable.
I have loved recording, sharing, and posting short, content-related videos. Perfect. Showcased. Videos. After recording several, perfect, content-related videos in recent years, I was finally confronted by friends who told me that my videos were so showcase-y that they looked fake. Insincere, even. What they saw was a little over the top, to say the least. They hated my videos.
That hurt. A LOT. I mean, I poured my heart and soul into several takes just to be sure that the final draft came out just right. After all, these videos were intended for students–and their learning. Therefore, it was important to set high expectations. Sometimes I would record more than 20 takes. To me, successful recording sessions were ones that took less than 10 takes.
Was that so bad?
On the other hand, I really respect my friends. Their feedback matters to me. Their opinions are usually worthy of my rumblings and considerations, even when I don’t believe the feeling’s mutual. Often, I’ve taken, wrestled with, and acted upon their advice.
This feedback cycle started over a year ago, and here I am–still thinking it through. Perhaps it’s the abstract elements in life that influence our long-term growth. The untamed influencers of time, space, and conscience are among the most powerful forces on earth.
What if they were right?
I mean, what if I was wrong?
Was I trying too hard? Were these videos too much?
One universal truth: Perception is reality. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter what I think is happening, or what my version of perfection may be. What matters is how my videos are being perceived by others.
One more layer?
What really matters is how my perfect expectations were perceived by kids.
Pretending to be perfect on one take–and expecting perfection from others–could be damaging over the long-term.
And so… I finally did it. I finally recorded The Perfect Video:
Trying to record an example of a weather report in @Flipgrid for our fifth grade STEM "Be the Meteorologist" Challenge: Report the weather wherever you are. Wanting reports from several different places. Take 1… #HamstraHighlights #MyalsMoments #ddestem #FlipgridFever #sci5E11 pic.twitter.com/yGeG0SGmaA
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) September 23, 2019