Student Voices – Letting Students Become Creators and not Just Consumers With the Microsoft Surface in the Classroom

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I am frequently asking for feedback from my students on ways to increase engagement. Invariably, my students say they want to create content. I couldn’t agree with them more. The highest form of content mastery is when a student can create something to show mastery. This creation can help future students understand the concept a little better.

My students want to become content creators and not just content consumers. There are many video editing apps that help us accomplish our goal by providing a simple platform for us to film, edit, export and publish our curriculum related content. Students are learning in new and different ways. Video editing apps provide another option for student assessment. Gone are the days when everyone reads a textbook, takes notes and writes a report. Very few students would chose to learn in this manner. The digital media format is a tool students gravitate towards. There is no greater way to show mastery of a subject or concept than to teach others. Video editing apps allow my students to teach other students.

I use the Microsoft Surface Pro with a VGA cable and VGA Surface Pro adapter to project this to the entire classroom through a ceiling mounted video projector and pull-down screen. This is my method but there are multiple platforms in which to accomplish this task. Use what you have available or what you can get for free. Free is a teacher’s best friend.

I have created a choice board in the classroom for student assessment. There are currently 12 choices and students can select one to show me they have content mastery on a particular concept or benchmark. Creating content with video editing apps like Movie Edit Touch is one of those 12 choices. It is really up to the student’s imagination what they want to create. They film, edit, re-shoot, until they have a completed project. The project is shown to the class to show student mastery of the subject of their creation. Once the project has been deemed successful by their peers it can be placed on our YouTube for other students to view. These completed assignments can be shown to future classes to introduce a concept and used as an example of a way students can be assessed. It is a really useful and popular app. My students love videos and they love YouTube. Being able to combine both as a student content creator is beneficial to the student in so many ways.

Most video editing apps are simple, easy to use platforms. My middle school students had no trouble filming, editing, exporting and publishing. Some apps were free to download but charged for content storage or to export.

My goal is to listen to my student voices and respond by creating choices for ways to be assessed. This a sample of student feedback related to student created videos.

“Mr. LaVogue is always looking for new ways for us to demonstrate mastery of our content,” said eighth grader Stephan.

“This is just another very cool way for to show what we know.” seventh grader Thanh echoed Stephan’s point and added, “We are always told to become content creators. Making tutorial videos to help other students and even parents is a great way to become content creators.”

Students have a lot to offer to a classroom and its design and environment. Teachers are always looking for resources. Teachers should not forget students are their most valuable resource. Let them use their voices and ideas.

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