Ok, so the title of this post might be a bit of hyperbole, but I was pleased to learn this week that the big take away from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book – the idea that you need to practice something for 10,000 hours to learn it – has been misinterpreted and corrupted over time and is more like a partial truth than an actual truth.
According to Wikipedia, Gladwell says that “achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.” The key phrase here being “world-class expertise”. World-class meaning like Bobby Fischer or the Dalai Lama.
Although achieving world-class expertise in a skill is pretty awesome, I’m fine with being “good enough” at most of the things I have to do in the day to day.
So, how long does it actually take to learn something new?
Thankfully, becoming proficient at a new skill only takes about twenty hours (see Josh Kaufman’s TED TALK for more info on this). That’s a lot more doable for most people, and especially for me since I’ve got a toddler running around at home:)
What do I want to learn in 20 hours?
Basically, what I want to learn is how to use instructional videos to improve student learning outcomes in my ELD class.
How did I come to this decision?
I listed to an interview with Doug Fisher, author of the Distance Learning Playbook on Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers Podcast this summer. In the interview, Fisher said that instructional videos lead to meaningful learning. “We are enamored with EdPuzzle and PlayPosit. You import a video and it asks quiz questions throughout the video. And the video won’t play until you answer the question. We set it that you could do it over again.”
I filed this information away and got caught up in back to school stuff. Then, in the fall, I noticed that the grade 7 ELA teacher at my school, whose class I push into to offer EAL support, was using slideshows with embedded Screencastify videos to help walk students through the writer’s workshop mini-lessons. And the EAL students would watch those videos over and over again if they didn’t understand the concept or the task the first time around.
I kept thinking to myself that I should be using instructional videos too. I frequently record sample videos on Flipgrid when assigning speaking tasks, but I almost always give writing assignments or review instructions in real time. Then, Jeff Utecht presented last month during our PD day (I mentioned this in my last post as well). He said that if we only took one thing away from his presentation, it should be that instructional videos are the way to go when designing learning tasks for hybrid classrooms.
In a related article called “Virtual School Tips” on his blog, The Thinking Stick, Jeff wrote: “Start by training every teacher how to make videos for instruction. Use Screencastify, Screen-o-matic or Flipgrid. I don’t care, just pick the one that best fits your system and train every teacher on how to make good instructional videos. ”
By now I was pretty convinced that I needed to start making instructional videos. I just needed a swift kick in the *** to get motivated. So, thank you, COETAIL, for giving me the motivation to do it!
How will I reach my goal of becoming proficient at making instructional videos?
- Research “How to Make Instructional Videos” so I have some basic knowledge on the topic.
- Learn how to use Screencastify and EdPuzzle (here’s why I chose EdPuzzle over PlayPosit) by talking to our tech coordinator and other teachers at my school who use these tools, and by reaching out and asking questions on social media.
- Decide what upcoming lessons I should create instructional videos for.
- Try making an instructional video.
- Test it out with my students.
- Get feedback from my students.
- Try making another instructional video based on the feedback I receive and see if I can make it better.
- Keep repeating steps 4-7 until I’ve embedded instructional videos into my regular teaching practice in a way that works for me and my students.
Ideally, I will start working on this tomorrow and have the first video ready to roll out to my students in a few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Have you used instructional videos successfully in your classes? If so, please send any tips, tricks, or words of wisdom my way!