Flipped Writing Videos- Production Techniques

Holly Epstein Ojalvo and Shannon Doyne define the flipped classroom in a post titled 5 Ways to Flip Your Classroom  :

It’s an “inverted” teaching structure in which instructional content is delivered outside class, and engagement with the content – skill development and practice, projects and the like – is done in class, under teacher guidance and in collaboration with peers.

The flipped classroom has become quite a buzz word in the last few years.

  • There are many teachers who swear by it, there are just as many teachers who don’t see the value in the classroom.
  • There are many teachers who believe the flipped classroom has transformed their teaching and their students’ learning, while other teachers believe the flipped classroom is a waste of time
  • There are many teachers who believe the flipped classroom is nothing more than creating a bunch of videos (or tapping into already created videos by others) and assigning to watch them to their students at home. No additional value to learning for their students.

Needless to point out, many educators are torn when it comes to the flipped classroom trend. One survey results reveals though that flipped learning is on the rise.

Emily Vallillo, sixth grade Humanities teacher at Graded, The American School of São Paulo is exploring what a flipped classroom might mean for her and her ten/eleven year old writing students.

Leaving the debate of “best thing ever” ored “it just gives students more work to do at home” aside, I want to look at the production technique of her videos as well as the advantages of using these videos as one more teaching structure or strategy to support student learning.

I was impressed with Emily’s creative approach of creating the video (reminded me of the “In plain English” series by Common Craft). She used for the first time the Explain Everything app on the iPad and was able to use quite a few techniques to make the video appealing for sixth graders (and others)  to watch.

  • She wrapped the mini lessons in a little story of “Carol” who received a writing assignment and was having trouble knowing where to go from there.
  • The story structure (or sequence) is represented visually by image objects that are zoomed in and placed at the center or minimized and placed on a timeline at the top of the screen. When reviewing or repeating an element, it is visually pulled up again.
  • These image objects were created with paper strips, sticky notes, pens and markers, digitized by taking an image on the iPad and then imported into the app (or directly taken from within the app)
  • The clever use of additional videos clips within the main video. These video clips are modeling explanations, orally annotating, making them visible for viewers.  Again, the app allows to record the videos within the app or import them from the photo gallery.

What are some other production techniques that you have seen and/or used that have been successful in the flipped writing class? Please share a link, so we can all be inspired and learn from each other to improve production techniques.


Production table for the video lesson

Emily also used EdPuzzle , a platform that allows teachers to create a class,  invite their students, add chosen videos to an assignment, embed additional audio comments as well as quizzes to check for comprehension.




Students are able to work at their own pace. They are able to “rewind” and review . They can start writing their paper and go back to explanations and modeling whenever needed (It is not that easy to “rewind”your teacher, especially when 20+ students are all are trying). 


Watch more videos from Emily’s Writer’s Corner