In terms of homework projects I am very much a convert to allowing students whenever possible to choose their own outcomes, with my role being merely to specify what knowledge and understanding needs to be demonstrated regardless of the approach adopted. In this I owe a lot to Ross Morrison McGill (@TeacherToolkit) who developed the “Takeaway Homework” concept, and Mark Creasy (@ep3577) , whose book “Unhomework” [review here] is packed with great ideas.

One of the most popular outcomes that certain students choose to focus on is a video project. For example, Sidney in Year 7 decided to analyse the ways in which the Middle Ages were a bad time to be alive by producing this video project which is a complaint letter to her time-maching travel agent about the horrendous sights, sounds and smells she encountered on her journey. Ethan in Year 11 produced this video project – an imagined film trailer focused on the assassination of Reynhard Heydrich – as a way of extending his research of Nazi resistance movements.

The only drawback with such projects is that they are difficult to share with the wider school community. To get around this problem, simply use Google’s URL shortener to get a short URL of the address. Then, when you click ‘details’ you are given a QR code as well that you can copy directly into a document. Print this off, put it on display and students can then scan the code to watch the film (QR scanning apps can easily be found for free in the ITunes store or similar). These can then be placed on your classroom door / wall:


Another great feature of the Google’s URL shortener  is that if you are logged in to your Google Account when you use it, a list is kept of your shortened URLs. When you click on the ‘details’ for any of these, you get a quick summary of how many times it has been watched, along with other information: