Having nearly completely lost my voice, teaching* today presented a problem. I did a lot of whispering, and cranked my microphone up to eleven. The lack of a voice wasn’t a surprise — I had been sick, and was nearly mute yesterday — so I prepared a few very short videos beforehand in which my eight-year-old, reading from a script, provided some information. Here’s a bit that leads into some in-class calculations of energy density for various things, such as sugar, leading off with the important statement that “Sugar equals awesome.”
The videos were a hit.
There’s a lot of discussion of using videos as a way of “flipping” classrooms — having people watch things outside of class to get the factual content, and using in-class time to develop understanding, ask questions, and do problem-solving. Often, the video is presented by “experts,” such as the professor teaching the course. I wonder if there’s an advantage to having some of this presented by non-experts (like children) — would it lower the psychological barriers people have to subjects like physics and math if the words came out of the mouths of eight-year-olds? (Making it clear, of course, that the content is beyond the grasp of eight-year-olds.)