When I set out to learn how to arm knit using YouTube tutorials, I expected an easy road. I learn well from online tutorials, and genuinely enjoy this style of learning. What I didn’t realize, however, is that this is an area in which I have no background knowledge at all. Not knowing even the fundamentals of knitting truly impacted my ability to learn this new skill. As did the various source I consulted. As I mentioned last week, I started with a video tutorial that seemed promising, but I soon discovered that as a visual learner, it was vital that the video demonstrate the action in first person perspective using an over-the-shoulder camera. Luckily, Amanda from the Simply Maggie blog agreed, and provided the tutorial that I needed.
I realized quickly the intent of pushing me back to the state of a novice learner. I was equal parts frustrated and discouraged when I couldn’t seem to make even a simple slip-knot using the bulky yarn. While I had the ability to pause the video and try again, my students are rarely granted this luxury. Nor are most tenth graders going to have the confidence to raise their hand and ask me to repeat myself or break the information down into smaller steps. This must therefore become part of my teaching and be woven seamlessly into my teaching style.
This also helped place my in the mind of my students as they learn a great deal from video tutorials when it comes to their personal interests. They learn how to pass a level on a video game by watching another gamer complete the challenge, but they rarely seek video tutorials for academic purposes. I can imagine countless applications for this style of learning in the classroom–trying new pieces of educational technology, finding creative commons licenced videos to use in their creations, or something as simple as adding page numbers to a word document can all be learned from online tutorials. As an educator, I can also use tutorials to better support my students. I recently created an MLA screencast to walk my students through the process of creating MLA works cited pages. With this tutorial, students can remind themselves of the process at home when completing essays, and can always return to it as a resource even when outside of class. This is a strategy that I could significantly expand for my students and could greatly help to enhance their learning process.
Mostly, as discussed in my final video, learning must be an ongoing process. If I expect to be an expert from one viewing of an arm tutorial video, then I need a bit of a reality check. With time and repetition, however, I can work toward becoming an expert. Remembering the difference between learning as a novice and learning as an expert, the expert never stops the learning process. I must continue to practice, look for new ways to problem solve, and work toward being able to not only complete an arm scarf, but also to teach someone else how to complete one. Then I will be able to call myself an expert (maybe). As my grandfather always says, “see one, do one, teach one.” This is the way toward true understanding.
Without further ado… My final NLP Video. Please click here if the video does not load below.