Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspirational Videos Help You Frame Focus + Follow Up Professional Development

If you are looking for inspirational videos to spruce up professional development at your school this year, you have to look no further than "The Brainwaves" video anthology which features videos on a myriad of topics from innovative educators.

The videos are free and generally run between 5 - 10 minutes. Should you decide to use them, you may want to follow these guidelines from WNET for using digital media in the classroom.
  • Frame: Provide a context that helps viewers pay attention to the main content of the media. Ask questions about the topic explored in the media to activate prior knowledge. When necessary, provide any background information they may need to fully understand the media.

  • Focus: Help viewers notice the important aspects of the media by providing them with a specific focus, something to look for while they interact with the media. Without a focus for viewing, participants will notice all sorts of interesting details - but not necessarily the idea or information you want them to focus on.

  • Follow-up: Provide an opportunity for viewers to summarize what they saw and did - because they will notice and experience different things, and not always what you expected! Re-telling and discussing helps consolidate understanding and remember it.

Most of these innovative thinkers are also authors, so this could be a great companion to a book club. Or perhaps staff is studying a new model that is being considered for your school. Listen to an expert and discuss their insights. (Note/request to creator: This could be done more easily if the videos were tagged by topic) And, it doesn't have to end there. At the end of each video you see the interviewee's Twitter handle (making it easy to connect) and website where you can get more information. 

Here is a sampling of videos.

These videos came into being because not too long ago, educator Bob Greenberg retired. When he did, he decided he wanted to dig deeper and learn more about teaching and learning. To do this he considered teaching a class and inviting in thinkers, dreamers and innovators who were some of the brightest minds in education. 

The class never happened. 

Instead Greenberg found himself on a journey touring the world, handing over the mic and picking up the video camera to film words of wisdom from those with whom he met. At first, these videos were trapped in his computer, but earlier this year he shared them with the world via YouTube in "The Brainwaves" channel.

The series now contains several dozen videos (and counting) which are meant to inspire and engage those viewing so you can, in the words of Georges Melies, "Sit back, open your eyes and be prepared to dream." 

You can subscribe at 

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