Today’s learners live in a video world. They are active
consumers, producers and critics of video content. How do we leverage this fact
to deepen interest and understanding in STEM?
Video-based instructional media provides an incremental
improvement over text-based content but does little to build engagement and
relevance. The real power of video lies in its potential for project-based
By the time many students enter middle school, they are
adept at filming, editing and publishing video content. Today’s smartphones and
pocket cameras are all capable of producing high resolution video. Free editing
applications are widely available for both computers and mobile devices. When we
promote the use video to document learning, we elevate traditional tests,
essays and PowerPoint presentations to a rich, relevant format.
Sun Cho and David Bang, students at the Dipaoli Middle
School SmartLab in Reno, NV provided us with a great example. In producing the
video animation below, Sun and David demonstrate clear mastery of a complex
scientific concept, DNA transcription and translation. Moreover, the process of
making the video reinforced these concepts and required a far deeper understanding
than would be necessary for more traditional methods of assessment. The
popularity and ease of sharing videos on social media like YouTube provides
additional relevance and motivation for learning.
Video projects also satisfy Next Generation Science Standards,
which emphasize deeper understanding of science concepts over memorization of a
wide range of facts. While video projects can be more time consuming than other
methods of documentation and assessment, it’s a powerful tool to engage today’s
learners in STEM.
East Troy Community School District is excited about the first SmartLab programs in Wisconsin. We are too!
We'll be installing SmartLabs at Prairie View Elementary School and East Troy Middle school next month. Classes begin in the fall!
Learn more here.