I can honestly say that I haven’t seen an app get so much praise from teachers as Apple Clips. My colleagues have been bursting with ideas on how to use the app in the classroom and they are already creating content with the students.
For me, Apple Clips has been the answer to a question that I’ve found myself posing quite often the latest months. How do I get students to learn basics concepts in Civics, Religion, Geography and History?
The use of concepts in Swedish schools
But to fully understand what I’m talking about we need to get a grasp on certain parts of the curriculum in the compulsory school in Sweden. We’ll use Civics as our example.
The Curriculum for Civics is divided into three parts:
Aim – what the students should have knowledge about when they leave the compulsory school.
Core Content – what should be taught during different years/stages
Knowledge requirements – what students need to know/show to meet different grades at different years/stages.
It is within Knowledge requirements we find that the students need to know, and be able to use, concepts vital for the subject.
Pupils have basic knowledge of different societal structures. Pupils show this by exploring how social, media, legal, economic and political structures in society are organised and function and describe simple relationships in and between different societal structures. In the descriptions, pupils can use concepts and models in a basically functional way. 1
As we can see, students not only need knowledge about concepts, they also need to be able to use them. But which concepts they need to know is not really stated anywhere. You can find a few under Core content but they are few in number.
So as a teacher I need to specify which concepts I believe are important for my students and then I have to teach them about the concepts in some way.
The problem is that these concepts are easy to google. There’s nothing inherently wrong in that. The problem is that the students have a habit of always using the first hits they get on Google. This means that more than likely they will read a Wikipedia article.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Wikipedia and donate as much money as I can since I use it everyday and the information is solid. But it’s written in a way that few of my students will understand.
Take Liberalism for an example. This is what my students will find if they Google liberalism and click on the Wikipedia link:
Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality, and international cooperation. 2
To us, it’s a good answer. To them it’s daunting. So they’ll try to understand it or, in most case, they’ll just copy the text and use it in their papers/exams. Which of course means that they don’t understand the concept and can’t use it.
Using Apple Clips to teach the students about concepts
So back to the question that I’ve been posing myself the latest months. How can I explain concepts to students in an easy way, when they need it?
The answer is of course: Apple Clips.
I decided to create what I in Swedish call “Begrepp på minuten” or in English “One Minute Concepts“.
In these 60 second-ish clips, I break down a concept/word and give the students an easy explanation of the concept and/or word.
I started by creating a structure for the clips. For instance I wanted every clip to start and look the same way. For this I used two of the templates in Clips.
I also knew that I wanted both a spoken explanation and a written one. This was easily done by using the auto text function in Clips. I also chose the design with a lower third to make it visually contrast the pictures I’m using.
When it comes to learning I’m a big fan of what I call “hooks”. A hook is something that the students can use to attach knowledge to. In these clips the hooks are pictures. Every picture has some kind of relation with what I’m explaining. This means that the students have kind of a “triple hook”. Sound (my voice), Text (my voice subtitled) and Image (Pictures that realtes to the Sound and Text).
Finally I add a picture with attribution to the Creative Commons pictures I’ve used and then I add a music clip from the Clips library. I always use the same music just to make the clips instantly relatable to my students.
I can then share the clips directly with my students in Showbie. But I firmly believe that knowledge should be everyone so I also upload the clips to Youtube under a Creative Commons-licens so that other teachers and students can use the clips freely.
So with little effort I now, thanks to Apple Clips, have an easy way to create videos for microlearning. What are you waiting for? Download Clips and start creating your own microlearning clips!