Personalized Video Feedback on Speaking Skills

I'm back....missed me?

Hope so, I missed writing this blog and talking to you all very much.  I thought I'd kick things off by joining in Vicki Hollet's ELT Blog Carnival on Teaching and Learning with Video as this little tip is incredibly effective and something I often do within my own language classes, so know it works well.

In the examples I'll show you below, we are practising for the IELTS speaking exam, but you can use this edtech method of giving personalized video feedback for general speaking practice, as well as for any other type of exam.  It also works nicely for business learners practising presentations. Although it may sound a wee bit fiddly in the write-up, it actually is really simple to set up and do and takes up very little time to share with students - providing, of course, you have the right tools and equipment!

What you need:
  • A flipcam (or similar device)
  • An IWB 

Optional* but effective
  • A Student Blog
  • Smartphones 
  • Your blogging software's app downloaded on to your students' smartphones

Step 1
Record your students speaking using a FlipCam instead of an audio recorder.



Step 2
Plug your Flipcam, or alternative device, into the computer in your classroom and play this video on the IWB via your media player or other software.  (Note this doesn't work playing from YouTube - if you try to write on the video it pauses so you really need to play the video directly using what you've stored on the flipcam or via your computer's media player).

Pause frequently to discuss their communicative successes and weaknesses.  Additionally, with more serious mistakes or common errors, write these up directly on to the IWB screen and encourage your learners to collaboratively correct these with you.


You can choose to focus on either pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary issues or as I do, work on all of these, it depends on your objectives - don't forget you can colour-code your corrections if you like with the IWB pens.


Step 3
Get students who were featured in the individual videos to open up their blogger app, this allows them to click to open a new post, and to use the camera function in Blogger to take a picture of your IWB screen. They can then publish this new post directly into their student blog.



Step 4
Open up your individual student's blog post(s) to edit it the post, change the photo size if necessary and you can now upload their videos into their blog posts directly.   Alternatively, you can also load up the videos to youtube (keep them unlisted!) and then embed them into each blog post.



Now, both you and they have a permanent record of their speaking which can be reviewed for practice at their leisure or can be used to demonstrate progress over time!


What to do if you don't have a FlipCam
- you could also use your phone, but in my experience, it takes too long to upload to the computer/youtube etc.  FlipCams are really cheap (also try EBay and Amazon for secondhand ones) and they are dead simple to use, especially in class, so actually I would just recommend getting one - one of the most important functionalities is the ability to simply plug directly into the computer's USB and play right away.

What to do if you don't have an IWB
- you could upload the video into a Google Drive Presentation, and type up notes beside the video but these are extra steps that would mean not doing it in the classroom with your language learners in real-time.
- if you have a data projector, you could instead beam the video directly on to a whiteboard and then follow the same steps as above.

What to do if not all of your students have Smartphones
- get the student who does have one to be in charge of posting to Blogger/ taking the picture and uploading it to the blog.  If none of them do, take a picture with a normal digital camera and upload to a shared space you have set up for them.

What to do if you don't have a student blog
- just get the students to take a picture with their smartphones anyway, they can store the picture within their picture galleries.  However, this isn't as effective as being able to watch the video again, which is what you get by permanently storing it in a blog, so actually I would just recommend setting one up.  Blogger is really easy and as the settings allow for privacy, students have a special non-threatening place where you can store samples of their writing, set extra listening and reading tasks, along with doing nifty things like the above!


Enjoy!

p.s. if you have any questions, or something wasn't clear in the write up, please don't hesitate to comment below - if you try this out and find this useful do feel free to share with your classroom teaching colleagues and there is no need to credit this post, simply share how to do it - however, if you are writing up an essay, article, blog post, doing a webinar, how-to video, giving a conference presentation or even creating a book of edtech activities, then please understand this blog post is a creative commons copyrighted material, therefore in all  of these cases, please provide proper citation to me as the originator and author. Thanks!


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