Saturday, December 10, 2011

Class 20: 11/08/11-Anchor Videos

Anchor Videos Website:

http://www.edb.utexas.edu/anchorvideo/theory.php

Goals of the Day:

1. Anchor Video

2. Hmelo-silver et al. Reading – Scaffolding and Achievement in Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller and Clark (2006)

3. Hand back field reflection papers

We started off the discussion by talking about anchor videos. Just a quick recap—anchor videos introduce the challenge (the driving question), it is the first of many steps in the creation of a Legacy cycle.

Anchor Videos Website:

http://www.edb.utexas.edu/anchorvideo/theory.php

The above website is definitely worth checking out, if you have any questions or are completely clueless when it comes to anchor videos. It is easily laid out into the following categories; Theory, History, How to, and Archive. The Archive section is under construction, but should be up and running very shortly! The Archive displays student made anchor videos. (Don’t worry—there are still examples posted under the “How to” section.)

It was heavily emphasized that a launch video is NOT an anchor video! A launch video is often shown to start a lesson (like an anchor video), however, anchor videos are used to scaffold and introduce a deeper question. Anchor videos are made to bring a sense of “apprentice learning” to the classroom. Apprenticeships are expensive and limited, put have proved to be a successful way to gain understanding. However, the anchor video incorporates technology to bring this sense of apprenticeship to the classroom. The problems are situated in real world application and often require the students to” think like an expert.” Anchor videos can also provide equity in diverse classroom setting. They are engaging and allow students that are poor readers to understand the task at hand.

The successful implication of anchor videos and furthermore Legacy Cycles require the students to work through the problems differently, but they also require many changes on the teachers part. As a teacher, you can have to allow for flexibility in the lesson plan. The lesson plan cannot be scripted; it is often times student thoughts that fuel the direction of the discussion. This is does not mean that the lesson does not require preparation before entering the classroom because it definitely needs a flexible structure. It is often hard to see a student struggle to come up with ideas, or to brainstorm ways to implement their ideas, but this is an important part of the learning process. The teacher needs to stray away from being the main provider of information and instead take on a coaching role full of encouraging words. The teacher is oftentimes learning along side the students depending on the facet the students chose to take. It can be very engaging to the teacher as well as to the students. It is especially important to remember that Legacy Cycles are an “alternate teaching methods” and therefore need to incorporate the existing curriculum and mandated standards!

The “How to” page on the website shows how to design an anchor video. There are six design principles that should be considered and incorporated while planning. A screen shot from the website is shown below. It lays out the six design principles concisely.

The term “Generativity” was brought into our discussion. In generativity, the students actually engage in developing the problems and sub-problems to solve by drawing references out of anchor videos. This is active constructivism. The learner is involved in creating their own learning.

Anchor videos are meant to portray real life problems and tasks. Therefore, not all of the data included in the video needs to be relevant to solving the problem. This is an ideal that stems from math problems—the students usually find a way to use all of the numbers given to them in a word problem. However, the students need to learn how to sort out important information- this is one more way that the problems become real world. The real world never presents us with all the information we need, nor does it present us with only the information we need.

The narrative structure in the video helps navigate the complexity and outline of the topic. Anchor videos often present us with problems that are 12-16 steps long.

NOT ALL ANCHOR VIDEOS ARE CREATED EQUALLY IN STRUCTURE- but it doesn’t mean there not all right! An overview of the example structure from the website are listed below, you can also watch them for yourself from the Anchor video website.

1. Scientists in Action: It is very structured anchor video with questions given throughout the video. They use a 1st person narrative to appear to be directly talking to you (the watcher of the video/ or in many cases the students).

2. Jasper: This video is structures and presents the challenges at the end

3. Golden Idol: This video is structured with questions given at the end. It should be noted that this is one of the first anchor videos ever made. A very distinctive shot of the graduated cylinder is shown, this is not by accident – it provides the kids a data source they can refer to in developing their solution.

4. Mission to Mars: This video is very unstructured. It is a design technique that allows the students to generate own questions/problems for their mission to mars. The instructed nature makes the video very adaptable. This same video has been used with elementary school students (3rd and 4th graders), middle school students, high students, and graduate students (Vanderbilt and Wisconsin). A child asks what happens if you run out of food, fuel, or oxygen (catastrophic) You can shift the questions from “What happens if you run out of food?” to a more complex question such as “how much food will you need?” These are very different questions with very different answers and methods to solve them.

A few tips from Dr. Petrosino we’re given at the end. He advocates for good sound quality over good picture quality. He also suggested that anchor videos should be between 3-5 minutes, this is mainly because any longer can be difficult to maintain the attention of the viewers. Of course it is essential to include the six anchor video design principles!

Our discussion of Anchor videos ended up being so in depth and included viewing a couple of the examples listed above, that we ran out of time to discuss the reading for today.

The class concluded by returning our student field experience papers. The last five or so minutes of class were available to discuss our legacy cycle and anchor video ideas with out design partners!

Each day in PBI a different student takes responsibility for blogging about what goes on in class. Today’s blog is brought to you by Lauren B­­­.

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