Capture, Flipped Classrooms, and Leveraging Video

Kahn Academy lessons

Last month, I had the opportunity to get in front of Sal Kahn of The Kahn Academy to talk capture and some of the challenges of flipping the classroom.  For those of you who don’t know, The Kahn Academy is a non-profit education organization created in 2006 with the aim of providing a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”
Before receiving millions in funding from groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sal started creating content modules in his closet for his nieces and nephews using easy to use screen capture tools he found on the web.
I asked Mr. Khan what 2-4 year academic institutions who already provide easy to use capture toolkits to their faculty can to do help encourage those subject matter experts to begin to develop their own content modules for students.
Sal shared that even the most stimulating minds can be stifled by having a camera pointed at them which leads to fear of being wrong or creating a poor quality capture.
Here are what Sal Kahn’s tips were as well as a few we have found helpful ourselves:

  • RELAX – At the end of the day, you are not producing the nightly news here.  Sal said he finds making mistakes and having to correct yourself builds rapport with you and the viewer.  We are all in learning together.  Sal even shared he finds pouring a glass a wine before a capture can help you relax.  Note – He said a glass, mind you, not several ; )
  • KEEP IT SHORT – people are more likely to watch 3 four minute clips of material than one 12 minute clip.  Break your topics up as much as you can.
  • LEVERAGE VIDEO – people are far more engaged by video than audio.  If you have a webcam available, make sure you have good lighting and have the camera aimed for above your head vs shooting upwards at you.  This will keep the shot face-on rather than your viewers looking up your nostrils.
  •  ADD A QUIZ – some capture tools provide in-video quizzing to ensure your viewers aren’t hitting play on your required video and leaving the room.  In video quizzing can help assess how well the information is soaking in and what you need to help your students focus on.

Know your students are far more likely to watch your content modules (and enjoy) than read from their textbooks.  This is a new generation of Digital Natives who expect video to be a format in which they not only communicate, but learn.
The Kahn Academy has validated this approach works.  Now, it’s your turn.

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