Why my Flipped Videos are Awful

--Originally published at Flipped Learning – Ed Tech Enthusiast

I’ve been flipping my classroom for a little while now. Creating videos lessons for my students to watch at home, learn something new and then start applying in the classroom.

More recently, I’ve started posting videos aimed at teachers online as well. I’m a big believer in shared practice, so I do it as much as I can.

If you’ve seen any of these videos that I’ve posted you may have noticed a few things.

  • Sometimes the camera falls out of focus
  • Sometimes I forget to move something weird out of shot
  • Sometimes (often) I stumble over my words
  • Sometimes (always)  the audio is substandard
  • Sometimes (always!) it’s obvious that there’s no script & I’m making it up as I go.

In short, my videos, as a cinematic experience, are AWFUL.

When I started flipping my classroom, I didn’t know anybody else that had ever done it. I had actually spent my entire life avoiding cameras and microphones! I hate having my photo taken.

But I thought flipped learning suited my goals as an educator, so I gathered up my courage and made my first video. You can see it below. (only 34 seconds, and it’s worth it for the laugh)

Terrible audio, walking in and out of shot, strange darting eyes. I made 2 weeks worth of videos just like this, teaching trigonometry to students. At the end of the fortnight, I asked for feedback.

They LOVED flipped learning. Despite my awful camera work and non-existent editing skills, they loved it! They were learning more than ever before and were much more motivated to work in class.

They watched the video, learnt what they needed to know and started achieving in class. That’s what flipped learning is really all about.

Now I made about 120 videos just like that one before I moved on to something more like this. (just watch 20 seconds, it’s pretty boring)


Now the audio is slightly better but only a little bit, and I don’t walk in and out of shot anymore. But that’s not why I made/make videos like this.

I make them like this for my own convenience! I’m a full time flipping teacher. By making them in this way, I can make them anywhere provided I have my laptop and my wacom tablet with me.

Importantly, students can get the information via either video format and don’t seem to have a preference (although they definitely want my face in the video, that’s a must).

I also, when the occasion calls for it, use my document camera. This I primarily use to give video feedback to students. I also use it for more technical videos, like teaching navigation recently.

They watch the video and get the info they need. Only AFTER that can they start learning. Learning by doing.

So here I am now, using my lightboard.

Please take note of the windex in the bottom left hand corner.

While I love my lightboard and my students think it’s pretty fancy, nobody gets upset when the information isn’t presented in this way. They’ll watch a video and grab what they need however it’s presented.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s the message, not the medium. Flipped teaching works and students love it, no matter how awful your videos might be.

You might not win one of these, but if you’re trying to, you’re probably in the wrong game anyway.



1 Comment

Leave a Comment