Teresa Cargo, Deputy Principal Sacred Heart Girls College, shares her teacher inquiry into using video with her Year 13 students to improve students' ability to present social and informative speeches. Teresa found using video cameras to support student reflection led to a large shift in student achievement. All of her students were successful in achieving the unit standard whereas the previous year none of her students had passed. The camera provided students with a tool to look at themselves and identify what they were doing well and the areas that they needed to work upon. Students gave feedback back to each other and became much more confident in presenting to an audience.
As a part of our staff PD we were asked to produce a project which had three-fold part of it. And the focus was around inquiry, but teacher inquiry as well as student inquiry. But, it was looking at an ICT focus, a literacy focus, and also raising achievement. And with 13 employment school classes it’s a fairly unique group of students, and they have some learning issues. And, I chose a particular standard that historically had not been done very successfully. In fact last year no one achieved with this standard and that was about presenting speeches, two types of speeches, a social one and an informative speech. And, we broke it down and initially we were working on a career pathway standard and they had a practice with these Vardo flip cameras and got used to using them and comfortable with themselves and their pairs. And then, we progressed through the standard of working initially with the social speech, which I helped them with. And they had a clear framework to work from, and then the last bit was the much more in depth one where they had to come up with an informative speech topic. They went away, they had to use a range of skills to come up with the information. They practised that with their peers, using the flip cameras played it back through, had a look at what they were doing before they finally presented it to the class. With working on this standard it also gave the students the opportunity to use a range of ICT equipment and strategies. From the very first opportunity where they got to work with the camera themselves and actually look at the technical aspect, but also as being on the other side of it where they then had to speak in front of the camera. They got used to being filmed, and then having a look at themselves and breaking down the areas that they were doing well, the areas that they needed to work upon. And then, we also used that through the data-show so the whole class later on got to assist with each and gave some peer assessment and feedback back to each of the students. I reflect back from last year where no students achieved the standard and if I look now at where we got to, of the 14 students all 14 presented both the speeches and all 14 achieved. So there was a huge move in raising achievement which was one of our focuses, but also it was the gaining in confidence of the students, and certainly by the time we got to the informative speeches they were much more comfortable standing up in front of not only their peers but also myself, and speaking about things that they’d researched and were knowledgeable about.