Mr. New is a YouTuber
Welcome to Mr. New’s Art Class; it’s wonderful to see all of your smiling faces today! That’s the tagline I use when my classes begin, so I may as well carry it over to my new YouTube channel, Mr. New’s Art Class. Over the past few months, I have begun preparing videos of some of the lessons that I teach to my students at school. Here are my thoughts on why this might be helpful…
Currently, my most common means of demonstrating new techniques or artistic principles is to use a device known as a document camera. Basically, it’s a camera on a flexible stand, which peers down onto whatever you put on the table beneath it. The reason this is so handy is because I can project this display to the SmartBoard screen that I have in my classroom, where my students can see up-close details of what I’m doing, and how I’m doing it. So what’s the downside? Well, there are several. The most notable are:
- Because the document camera is stationary on my desk, I can’t walk around and see how well my students are following along.
- I also can’t walk around and keep proximity to students who get distracted easily and need reminders to focus.
- The camera’s quality is fairly decent, but the lag time between it and the projector screen is several seconds, which often causes confusion when I say I’m doing something and students can’t see it yet.
Since I happen to own a DSLR camera with video capabilities, it dawned on me that I could set it up on a tripod and use it exactly the same way I use my document camera. The only difference is that it will be a recording instead of a real-time event. Recording videos is much more time consuming than I thought it would be, and I have hit some kinks (particularly with contrast and light pencil lines/shading), but I’m learning a lot in the process. And it’s fun! I have already used a few of my videos in-class, as a replacement for my document camera arrangement, and it has worked well despite the kinks mentioned above. The benefits have been:
- When showing a video, I am able to walk around the room and see my students’ progress, helping where needed, and pausing the video to make whole-class suggestions if I see common errors.
- I have had fewer behavioral disruptions because the students seem to be more engaged in the videos than they were when I was using the document camera.
- Most impressively, several students have mentioned that they want to subscribe to my channel so that they can see other videos that I’m sharing with different grade levels!
About the Mr. New’s Art Class YouTube Channel
Some of my videos are real-time explanations, demonstrations, and techniques. Others are time-lapsed renditions to show the steps involved in creating a certain project. Up to this point, all are based on lessons that I have taught successfully in the past, and wanted to have a new way to display the content to the students. Here’s a sample video to sink your teeth into. Check out the channel, and subscribe if you want to see more like this: