Hurdles to Overcome
Once you decide you're going to Flip or make videos with your students there are a number of things you should keep in mind. Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams cover it pretty well in the video to the right.
- Access - Do all of your students have reliable internet access at home? You should have some flash drives or video dvds pre-loaded with your videos to make available to students. You might also try to find a way of getting some devices you can check out. That's what Dan Spencer did when he flipped his chemistry class.
- "Perfect is the enemy of good," is an aphorism attributed to Voltaire. Your videos won't be perfect. If you try to make them perfect you'll never get any made for your students. Just as your in class lectures are often slightly flawed, so to will your videos. That's perfectly OK.
- "I hate the sound of my voice." Then don't watch your videos once you've made them. You sound the same in person as you do in video.
- It's a whole lot of work! Creating an entire year's worth of video lectures can seem a bit daunting. So, start small. Bite off a chunk and see how it goes. Maybe start with one lesson or unit. Or start with some review videos before tests to get your feet wet.
How Will You Use Your New Time?
Now that you've freed up class time by having at least some of your lectures on video how will you spend your time in class? Personally I spent my extra time in physics working hard problems requiring critical thinking and problem solving skills through small group and large group discussion. We've also done some Problem Based Learning. The Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo has put together a great list of ways to use your face to face time. Mostly it's a list of things you'll probably remember from your methods class, but once you started teaching thought you never had time for.
Copyright and Creative Commons
I put this on the front page because it is very important. It's importance is really two fold. First, you don't want to get sued. Second, we need to be models for our students. Note, I'm not a lawyer so you should follow the links I provide and use your best judgment. I will not give you any legal advice, nor am I capable of determining if information in the links I provide is accurate. This is all stuff to keep in mind when using video, images, or audio that you yourself did not create.
- Fair Use - A lawyer once told me that the copyright laws and fair use provisions were written to be vague on purpose. The bottom line as to whether you broke the law sometimes seems to hinge on which judge you happen to have presiding over your case.
- From the U.S. Copyright Office
- From Stanford.edu - Excellent in it's explanation of what constitutes fair use.
- From Wikipedia (includes lots of links and references)
- Bottom line: If you include pictures or music you (or a student) find on the net in a movie or powerpoint that you are using to teach from in your school then it may be fair use. If you then put that presentation up on the internet for the world then there's a good chance you violated copyright.
- Creative Commons - The instant you create a work you have a copyright on it. Technically anyone who wants to use it in some way MUST get your permission. So, if you create a powerpoint presentation and you freely give it away on the internet then other people must, by law, ask for your permission before they show it to a group of people. The intent of Creative Commons is to bypass the permission asking. It is a way of labeling your work to tell people what rights they have when using your material. For example, I've labeled this page (in the sidebar) to give people the right to use, reproduce, or make derivative works from this information as long as they tell people I created it and they share any derivative works under the same license. If their use falls under this then they don't need to ask me first, I've already given them permission.
- Public Domain - Material in the Public Domain has no copyright. Copyright doesn't last for ever, eventually it expires. Additionally, you as a content creator might decide you don't care what is done with your creation and so may wish to make it public domain right away. As crazy as it might sound, there are some that claim you as a content creator can not legally do this, however.