Making writing videos is ridiculously easy, using the premium version of Jing (and I imagine it’s almost as easy with the basic, free version):
And since my students don’t have access (officially) to YouTube, I’ve actually double-saved and double-shared them. They’re online at YouTube, for everyone here and there who’d like to use these short writing guidelines; they’re also available to my students on our wiki, as blog entries. This means that I get credit for the work in two places — with my school, and with my online audience.
I was trying to explain this to a colleague on Friday, and she almost got it. Maybe she did get it, and just was too concerned about potential for disaster to go all the way. But increasingly, as teachers, we can be judged by our online presence and ability, and perhaps we should be. Is the maker of such videos as these someone you want working at your school? Will such a teacher reach your students more effectively over the long run than a teacher who isn’t “wired”? In some ways, it’s too early to say.
In other ways, it’s way too late. A few hundred such of these videos could easily teach a student more about writing and sentence structure than all thousand pages of Warriner’s Grammar of the English Language. And yet the world is better off with MORE such explanations rather than less. There’s more chance for people to “get it” when they have a multitude of instructors and guides — and not just the one to whom they happen to be assigned.
There’s a potential revolution in the making, here.