Teacher to Teacher

1st November 2002 at 00:00
Why not help each pupil make a CD showing them their class at work? The CD can be taken home and played on the family PC. I don't give my pupils advance warning: I want their parents to recognise their child's efforts and natural abilities. This is not acting.

This example worked well with a low-ability Year 10 group doing some ecology work. Break the ice, give the camera to a pupil and tell them to film you introducing their work. Not all the group will have the confidence to describe the work. Get them all on the disc by asking them to introduce themselves and say what they do or don't like about the science work. This group chooses to work with small mammal traps, pooters, quadrats and populations diagrams. They are enthusiastic. The filming is completed in the lesson. You get great feedback from the parents after they have watched their child on the home PC.

A few tips: use the zoom so the camera doesn't intimidate your pupils. No background noise. Tell them if they get it wrong they can do it again.

Tell them you will cut out any silly bits before you put them on the disc.

Try to film in mainly natural light and keep away from brightly coloured walls. You only need to use a tripod for talking through diagrams etc.

Equipment: digital video camera, PC and software, disc burner and blank discs.

Alex Redhead teaches science at the Lakes School, Windermere.

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