Monday, April 18, 2011

The "I Can See Me" Principle

The November 2010 issue of Learning and Leading with Technology puts a spin on the use of video technology in the classroom. The authors of the article suggest a new tactic for improving reading fluency, increasing the number of words read per minute, and decreasing the number of errors made by students. Additionally, the authors state that their idea improves students' ability to self-correct and identify error patterns.

Called the "I Can See Me" program or principle, the activity requires only a few simple tools: a webcam, a computer, a short script for the student to read from and a highlighter. Here is the procedure, as detailed by the authors:

"1. The teacher selects an appropriate text and makes two copies for each student. The two copies will be stapled together.
2. Using a webcam, the student records a video of herself reading the text.
3. While watching her videos, the student highlights any errors she made while reading the passage. She rates herself in the areas of rate, volume, and accuracy.
4. The student discusses the video with the teacher. The conference should last about three to seven minutes.
5. The student rereads the passage on another video.
6. The student watches the second video, highlighting her mistakes.
7. The student completes a reflection sheet that asks her to again rate herself on the rate, volume and accuracy. In addition, the student evaluates whether her reading improved during the second recording, explaining any differences and reflecting on any changes."
(Frey, 36) 

It almost sounds too good to be true - but the authors claim that it really works! They state that they've used similar procedures to work on other skills, including listening comprehension, social interactions (introductions, answering questions, etc), and spelling. An additional benefit of using webcams, they claim, is that it allows students to upload their videos to the internet or save them to DVDs to show family and friends (if the student desires)

This activity looks like it could be promising for teaching language to students of all ages.

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