During my summer position at Camp Power, I had many opportunities to go into different classrooms and work with children and instructors. I love to document learning, and when I was in these rooms, I often did that. It was after I recorded some videos of campers that an instructor made a passing comment to me that I’ve thought about ever since.
This instructor spoke to me about how I record videos, and he mentioned that even when the iPad is recording, my eyes are always on the child. Was he right? All of a sudden I started to reflect on where I look as I’m recording, and yes, it’s almost always at the student.
This makes me one of the worst videographers of all time! You can get a little seasick as you watch my longer recordings, and I almost always slide off the page or end up focusing on a corner of the floor or a section of the table. But, as someone who spends my day taking photographs, recording videos, and documenting learning, I realized that I do not live my life staring through a screen. As much as I start to ignore the camera, the children start to as well, and that’s when we’re both able to get lost in the learning.
One of many examples of my “shaky” videos (swipe to see it).
My choice may not have been a conscious one at the time, but now I’m consciously trying to continue to stay focused on the child, not the camera. Where do you focus as you record videos? Do these choices matter? I want to give parents a window into our classroom, a look at the learning, and a chance for my teaching partner, Paula, and I to reflect on this learning and determine next steps. Just because the moment is being captured, doesn’t mean that we’re doing so at the expense of our relationships with kids. Maybe there’s something to be said for a shaky view of our classroom world.