Students as Creators of Content

The old adage says that in order to really learn something, you need to be able to teach it.  When I first started teaching in the 80’s (was it that long ago),  I realize the truth of that statement.  I was teaching earth science in an inner city middle school and trying to just keep ahead of my students.  My background was in Chemistry and Physics and I had to teach what I didn’t really know.  I quickly learned the content so that I could teach my students.  Unfortunately, though, I did not see as much value in my own students becoming the teachers.

Fast forward to 2012 and I am more convinced that we need our students to be creators of their own content.  Two weeks ago, I had the chance to help out one of our teachers as she worked with some 4th graders on math.  Instead of “teaching” the students, she had each student design a lesson they could teach to the world.  They designed their presentation and used a screen capture program (Camtasia Studio) to record their session.  We then posted the video to youtube and now these 10 year olds are teaching the world math lessons.  It has been motivating for these students to see how many people watch their videos.  It has also helped them to understand the topic that they presented on. 

Samples of the videos are below:  If you have the time, the students would love to hear your reactions to their videos.