Entry 2 – Community Voice: Valeria
One of the students, Valeria, has been very involved this year and last. Here, she shares her perspective on the educational video-making process:
My name is Valeria, and I am entering grade 11. I have made educational videos for mathematics and chemistry. In mathematics, I have focused on the “Pythagorean theorem” and “systems of equations”. In chemistry, my videos address “alkane nomenclature” and “chemical solutions”.
In an ordinary math class, our teacher first starts out by asking us sample questions related to the topic. He then lectures, and we write down what he says. After, he teaches us how to solve problems related to the concept, and asks us to go to the board to solve examples.
In our usual chemistry classes, the teacher begins by asking us questions related to the concept, then dictates the key points, and also uses examples. For instance, for alkane chemistry, she would explain the concept and then write a sample problem on the board. If we understood the topic, she would move on; otherwise, she would provide us with more examples.
Whenever our videos are shown in the classroom, my peers become more interested, pay attention, and are silent. The teachers usually ask us at the end of the video if we enjoyed it, and students always answer “yes” because they benefitted from the review of a concept that we had just learned. I have noticed that, when they are asked about the concept in the video at a later time, they still remember the information. My peers have also liked how the videos do not include their faces, so the focus is just on the material. The videos are dynamic, and it’s remarkable how silent the students are when watching them.
Mainly, my teachers use the educational videos to reinforce concepts that they have taught. My classmates enjoy this, and have asked that we continue to make videos. I enjoy this because we feel satisfied of our work. Once, our math teacher was sick, and we did not know how to solve an exercise problem. We asked another teacher to set up a video we had made on the corresponding topic; after we watched the video, we discovered what we needed to solve the problem. By using the videos, we were able to come up with a solution.
My teachers usually decide when to make a video, based on what the class has difficulty with. My chemistry teacher, for example, asked my classmate, Jose, and me to help with one on chemical solutions. She guided us through the process, particularly because it had been a while since I had made a video, and another teacher helped with the filming process. In another instance, my classmates were struggling with a topic, and we reminded our teacher that we had a video we could use. After we saw the video, we were able to solve the exercises and understand the concept better.
For students making the videos, we are reviewing concepts that were difficult to us. I chose topics that I had the most trouble with; as I am a good student, I wanted to reinforce topics to understand them better. Sometimes, my classmates understand a concept that I do not, so I want to learn these topics better. Aside from learning a concept well, I am able to help my classmates so that they too can achieve high grades. This is what I like about making educational videos.
In this process, I have learned many ways to support my classmates, and this has humbled me, as I look for ways to help others. The videos are important because students at my high school gain confidence in their knowledge, and through these videos they learn more than what they knew before watching them. The fact that my peers are learning is what makes these videos most important to me.