A year and a half has passed since I finished my last COETAIL project, a student created video dictionary. Even though our students made more than 100 videos for the dictionary, I saw it as just a beginning with the potential to grow into something greater. Since May of 2014, when I last wrote about the project, it has evolved in a few ways:
Small Group Study Guide
When my new third grade class started in the Autumn of 2014, we occasionally referenced the dictionary when its words came up. We didn’t really utilize the dictionary until November, however, after 3-way conferences, when several students set a goal to increase their vocabularies. I put together a three week self-study packet, based on some words in the dictionary, and the students worked their way through it. I can go into the details of this in a future post, but I knew it was a success when the students started regularly using the words in their writing and speech.
Whole Class Study Guide
After the small group was successful, I had the rest of my class try the self-study packet. While they did this, the group who already finished started to make their own videos.
Having already watched 30+ videos, the new students had a strong sense of what made a high-quality video, and they were able to quickly create their own. Here are a few of the first ones they made.
After updating the script, we got the other 3rd grade class as well as some 4th graders involved, co-constructed success criteria, and are currently sitting at 150+ videos in the dictionary. Eventually we can move to a different website (our google-site url is quite unwieldy).
New YouTube Channel
One annoyance of the first group of videos was uploading them to my teacher YouTube account and having to log in each time a student wanted to publish. To make this step easier, I made a new YouTube channel (with a shared password) where the students can publish without me. Almost all of last school year’s videos are kept there (as well as new homophone games and choose your own adventure stories).
Another New Class
I updated the study guide and had my new class use it from the start of this school year. It’s gone well, and they just made their first round of videos.
We now have three years of students who have contributed to the dictionary, and I am connecting with teachers in fourth and fifth grades to ramp up new video creation for the year.
I would love to get our dictionary to a critical mass where schools around the world could use our students’ videos as a resource. If we can get three full grades involved at my school, I think 400 total videos is a nice lower level goal for this school year. We will start there. If we could get other schools involved, however, there’s no limit to where we could go. I will post updates here.
If you would like to get involved, there are two ways:
- Use our dictionary as a study resource (I can share the packet with you).
- Make your own videos.
I’ve honed and updated our process for making videos, and I can share some resources with you. Please leave a comment or get in touch if you are interested.