Small classes are great. They also highlight the very different differences students have. In a larger audience, one can teach to the middle and feel successful. In a class of say, less than 10, one notices really quickly who they are reaching and who they are not.
This fact went into my decision to create instructional videos for my CADD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design) class. It is a small class, but, as an educator, I have a duty to differentiate instruction to fit the needs of every student.
In the past, I had tried existing YouTube videos, but students never seemed to jive with the videos or the producers. I had thought about doing my own, but my time management skills said, "Nope, not feasible right now, Mr. Barbercheck." I had also thought, "How can I do better than Johnny YouTube's CADD videos?" We had done whole class live instruction with little success.
Recently, I decided to bite the bullet. After a helpful kick from Mr. Grosinger (check out his link, he's a daily inspiration for me) of Memorial High School in West New York, New Jersey, I made a series of videos on how to use OnShape, a cloud-based, free, 3-D modeling software.
After making the videos, and even after seeing their success with my students, I was still hesitant to make these videos public. I felt by putting the videos on YouTube, I had an obligation to entertain the masses. That's not true, though it was still a step outside of my comfort zone.
The videos are not meant to replace me as an educator. They are meant to compliment my instruction. (Though after implementation, I think I compliment the videos more than they compliment me.) When I realized that the same videos I'm making could have helped me in the past, I decided to go public. It felt good modeling to my students what it is like to get outside of the comfort zone.
The videos are pretty raw, unscripted, and unedited.
The videos are a reflection tool for me. They work extremely well for MY audience for a reason, and I KNOW that when I watch them use my videos.
I have my own immediate audience to please and that's the endgame. The knowledge is reaching each of them. No two members of the audience are working on the same video. They're all over the board. They move at different paces. They move at their own pace. They get my full attention when they need it. They figure it out on their own when they know they can. And sometimes, they just need the friendly reminder, from the trusted individual, the teacher, the producer, that they can figure it out on their own, and then they do.
Anyone can learn the very powerful program of OnShape, for free, and, if they'd like, they can watch my videos to help do so. It'd be fun to receive your feedback. Check out the video below (my first "edited" one) for an idea of what I'm doing. Search Mr. Barbercheck on YouTube to see all videos.
Watch in a higher resolution and pay attention to the background for a few edit tricks I tried out.