Week 1: Story Critique

This week I chose to a video from teachingchannel.org that directly connected to my theme: teaching diverse learners, or meeting the needs of diverse learners. The video, actually titled, Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners, focused on a classrooms use of stations to help support all learners. The educator who narrates the video explains a lesson where students visit different stations in order to deepen their understanding of citing textual evidence.

For my critique I focused on the following three Jason Ohler’s assessment traits:

  1. Story
  2. Flow, organization and pacing
  3. Media application

The story, clearly intended for fellow teachers was clear and engaging. The teachers featured in the video present a real challenge, faced by many teachers, and go on to explain one way to face that challenge. For most educators I’m sure the story is very relatable, and therefore engaging. It also presents new ideas that viewers can take into their own classroom.

The flow, organization, and pacing was smooth. I would have considered adding to the video just a bit in order to feel less rushed. There were a lot of ideas, reflections, and overall content in a short 11 minute video, and although I appreciate getting to the point I think because the audience would be seeking out this video to better their own teaching practices it could have been a bit longer to avoid the rushed feeling. As for media application-the use of media was great! Throughout the video I was impressed by the use of additional features in order to enhance the story. For example, I loved when four different clips were shown on the screen to represent the four stations the teacher had set up for the lesson. I also loved that every question, reflection, worksheet, etc., that was referenced in the video was shared in some way with the viewer. What these traits fail to capture is the overall inspiration educators can find in this video. Although at times I found myself jealous and frustrated that this particular class had four adults in the classroom at one time. It is definitely an advantage to have more adults in order to help meet the needs of your diverse learners-a luxury not all teachers have. However, as stated above the one thing I would reconsider is the overall pace of the presentation, which at times felt rushed. On a personal note I was excited to see this class was reading the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It is an amazing book (seriously, read it), and a story I am currently reading to my students. They beg me to read it on a regular basis, even my students who don’t typically love reading. This personal connection made the video even more interesting-something to consider in digital storytelling, or I suppose with any production of work-know your audience.



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