Using smartphones in the classroom: make short videos

10 Jan

IMG_1832My Beginner Spanish students often work in pairs (me saying “pareja, pareja, pareja” is what they actually remember the most from my courses, I must admit) and this year I noticed that most of them (if not all) had smart phones, particularly iPhones. So I decided to have use their cell phones to record some of those interactions. We were lucky that we had an empty classroom next to ours, but I’m sure the hall way would also work well (as it tends to be quiet during classroom time).

For this task, we were learning about school topics, like majors, subjects etc., so the questions they had to ask each other was, “what classes are you taking this semester? Which one is your favorite?” They practiced a little in class, I corrected their sentences, and then they took turns going to the other class and doing the recording. They then sent the recordings to me and I used Windows Movie Maker to make this short clip. It was my first time ever editing a video, and it really took me just about ten minutes, so I can say this is one of those super easy projects that anyone can do. Here’s the result:

I got the idea of adding the subtitles from Happy Hour Spanish videos and I think for this level of Spanish it makes it very valuable to have the words on the screen.
I’m very happy with the result, because not only I think that students were able to learn the vocabulary better this way, but I have also created a clip that I (or anyone!) can use when practicing the vocabulary of university subjects.
Do your students create videos in class? Let me know what you do!

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