I posted last week about how awful it went to show a video to my Archaeology class on the big screen with their comprehension questions open on their computer; many of them ignored the video and Googled the answers. So I tried a new approach with my English class. We’ve begun our Title IX unit and I wanted to give them an overview of not only the law itself but also its impacts, its controversies, etc. I assembled a menu of videos in ItsLearning, more than they could watch in class. The videos were divided into 3 categories. I told them (via Twitter) to bring headphones to class. Their instructions were they had 30 / 35 mins. to watch whichever videos they wanted. They had to watch one from each of the three categories but that was their only restriction. Afterwards we would discuss and they would write a bit.

I’m pleased to say that this seemed to work quite well. Granted, it was a number of shorter videos rather than one long video, but it was (relatively) quiet while they watched; very little chatter (and that’s saying something, especially for the afternoon section). And there was little to no technological wandering as far as I could tell (via my own wandering and LanSchool). Students were focused on the work and the technology facilitated rather than inhibited this (as it did in the Archaeology class).