Thursday, November 27, 2008

Innovation - use of mobile phones / videos in the classroom

Today's post is a reflection on two different stories I have heard - in both cases the story was the very similar...

A lecturer noticed that one of the students had their mobile phone out during the lecture and appeared to be playing with it. Rather than telling the student to put it away the lecturer engaged with the student and asked what he was doing. The student explained that he was videoing the lecture and the reason for this was that he had a problem taking detailed notes and particularly relating to the complex diagrams the lecturer used to support his lesson so the video was something he could watch at a later point and go over the things he was unclear about.

I am not sure how many of us would feel if we found out we were being filmed without our permission but the brave lecturer took on board this idea and decided that if it was useful, he could do the videoing himself and organised for a video camera to be set up in his class for the following week. After the lesson he uploaded it to the colleage learning environment system. This proved very popular and did not reduce attendance significantly as had been expected. Rather students who had already attended the lecture were reviewing the videos after the lecture for more detail. So popular was this that lecturers in other subject areas started to do this too.

To read more about the benefits and drawbacks of using videos in lectures, click on the link.

I am not suggesting that all lectures should be videoed (or even taped) but there might be a value in this in some instances. For example some of my students tape my lectures (with a digital recorded) because they have learning problems that mean memory or note-taking are difficult.

What I am suggesting is that we should remain open to new approaches and ideas.... Any comments on this are welcome!

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