Newbattle High School
That time when history goes digital
Ross McNicol and John Frame are history teachers at Newbattle High School in Dalkeith Scotland. The school teaches students aged 11 – 18 (S1 to S6) and uses Google Classroom and ClickView to support their focus on nurturing student’s digital readiness in preparation for life beyond school. Both Ross and John regularly use ClickView to support the delivery of the history curriculum from introducing topics through to revision and assessment.
There’s a sense that Ross McNicol and John Frame love their jobs as History teachers at Newbattle High School in Dalkeith, Scotland.
They speak passionately about engaging their students with quality material that appeals to all learners.
And they are deep believers of video as a tool to engage, inspire and translate often complex ideas for their students ‘to the point where in five minutes the video sometimes does a better job of explaining something that may have taken us half an hour to explain!’ says John.
Like all teachers, the demands on their time mean they can’t afford to waste precious moments on ineffective material or losing teaching resources.
“In five minutes, a video can do a better job of explaining something that may take half an hour to explain!” – John
For Ross and John and thousands of other teachers like them, ClickView is the ideal platform to deliver quality video content in a safe and efficient manner.
And in times of recent lockdowns, the utilisation of ClickView with Google Classroom has meant little interruption to valuable learning time. Revision and assessment needs are met, and there is support to focus on nurturing a student’s digital readiness in preparation for life beyond school.
Saving time and getting straight to the point
With thousands of educational videos, documentaries, and movies about significant moments in history, Ross and John believe it’s no surprise that history teachers make the best use out of ClickView.
“There could be some quite complex themes or an event that we’re trying to talk about, but a film or documentary can make it so much easier for students to understand.”
Being able to search through Freeview TV clips, as well as videos posted on the Exchange and ClickView’s own content give John and Ross plenty of material to choose and use.
“There’s so much material out there that fits into our course. We do a lot on the slave trade, Nazi Germany, the Cold War, the American Civil War, and there are thousands and thousands of visual resources.”
These history topics are light years away from the digital classrooms that they are taught in, but video brings the stories to life.
And ClickView makes it easy.
“Every day, something appears on television, so it’s very simple for us to contact our link and ask ClickView to record it for us. Then it goes straight into our library,” says Ross.
Further, ClickView understands that traditional full length films on another public platform can be time consuming. ClickView has the ability to save time by creating short clips that can cut to the point
“The best thing is that you can cut it (the video) down to five or ten minutes a lot easier than you might do with other formats. We don’t show a documentary every lesson, but when we do, being able to clip it so that it’s relevant to a particular topic is useful. For example, we use Roots a lot, but it goes for 12 to 14 hours and a lot of it isn’t relevant, so we can just clip it,” John adds.
ClickView and Google Classroom: The silver lining of lockdown
The History Department at Newbattle High School rely heavily on ClickView during periods of lockdown to deliver clips and interactive quizzes.
The benefit of gathering those resources and creating clips during lockdown means that a ready-to-use collection of films, documentaries and shorter interactive clips are available to draw on well into the future.
“Sometimes you’ve got links saved from elsewhere within a set of Google Slides, or you’ve got the video there, and you come back to show it and it’s been removed, or it’s been blocked, or age restricted.
With ClickView material, you know that it’s there. It won’t be removed from the library without you being notified in advance of it”, assures John.
The real test: Are students engaged? How do we know?
Staff at Newbattle High School have integrated ClickView with Google Classrooms, and John and Ross have seen firsthand how easy it is to upload content for students and the increase in engagement by doing so.
“It helps a lot in the sense that you’ve got the students enrolled in Google classrooms as well. It’s a really quick way of getting something up there for (the students). They can access it through their school device or the Google Classroom app on their iPhones.
We found that the engagement was better during Distance Learning where we did have a ClickView resource posted through Google Classroom compared to a week where we didn’t,” John explains.
The interactives on ClickView are also proving to be successful in increasing student engagement and knowledge attainment among their students.
Ross says that it’s been beneficial to be able to use interactives and give students those quick-fire questions to keep their engagement whilst they are watching the video.
“ClickView is helpful when setting homework tasks because interactives may not seem much like a homework task! Also, they have to answer the questions as and when they are watching If we just shared a video and added questions at the end, they’d often miss them,” John elaborates.
Revision for higher classes has benefited both from the Google Classroom integration and the playlists feature by offering students a selection of short clips and pre-arranged playlists that they can choose from.
“With higher classes they may not need to revise everything. They may want to pick three to four sub-topics for assessment so having a playlist built is handy for students.
Having those focused five-to-ten minute clips laid out nicely in Google Classroom is really helpful for students doing their revision for the assessments they did in place of exams last year.”
Video in education and student confidence
Ross offers an example of the recent Scottish Wars of Independence series made exclusively by ClickView as a highly relevant and easy-to-deliver teaching resource:
“I think a resource like that which is made with ClickView and Google Classroom in mind makes the organisation and planning of those lessons that little bit easier from our point of view.
But even more importantly from the students’ point of view is that they know what they’re watching is absolutely relevant to what they’re studying.” Ross says.
The rest is history. And coming to you as a ClickView video soon!
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