Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Flipped Library: Incorporating video instruction

Due to the Covid19 Pandemic this spring, my information literacy teaching went remote. My school was in the midst of a major research project. I had been working closely with science teachers for several years to get this project running smoothly. First, getting teachers on board with revamping a long running assured learning experience had been a challenge. Then, asking teachers to let me co-teach right alongside them in their classrooms was a little anxiety provoking, if not downright intimidating. Finally, teachers understood the role I played to support them side-by-side in the classroom. I was spending weeks in each sophomore level class, working the room with the teacher to offer students one-on-one research assistance.  Co-teaching was seamless. I understood what the teachers were expecting from a content perspective. The teachers were understanding what I was seeking from an information literacy perspective. Students were receiving content area grades from their science teacher and an information literacy grade from me. This project had become one of the key ways I delivered research skills to our student body.

So, it was frustrating to find myself outside of the classroom again. While teachers moved ahead with the project in a remote format this spring, I held my breadth. Teachers shared what students were doing with me, but I was not hands-on. I hoped that the skills I taught translated in this new environment. 

To help the process, I created videos for teachers to share with their students. I also told teachers to have students get in touch with me when they needed help. My videos received 100s of student views and several young people contacted me directly for guidance or for hard to access articles.

This morning, on a calm summer day, I re-watched me videos and am pleased with what I created in a panicked situation. This year, we are sliding into blended learning. While online video conferencing interaction was not something I could do last year, this year I anticipate synchronous remote learning where I can more directly guide students. I will not stop with videos though. Chunking information about research strategies and tools through videos enables my students to review short lessons over again until they are able to absorb the teaching. Kids can go at their own pace with instruction while I work with them based on the lesson they have reached. 

I encourage my fellow school librarians to adapt their teaching this way.