By Adrienne Boudreau:
A history teacher at McKinley High School has become a YouTube sensation by creating a series of educational videos used not only in his classroom but by students across the nation.
Keith Hughes, history teacher at McKinley and adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education, has been making his HipHughes History videos since 2007 to help reach kids on a non traditional platform.
Hughes began making school review videos with his students to help them work with the material while teaching them video composition. A fun way to help keep their minds on the info. Eventually that morphed into his YouTube channel (over 250 videos), which now has almost 35,000 subscribers and won a YouTube EDU Next Guru Award for his work. His channel gets roughly 7,000 – 8,000 hits a day.
A quick look at his Twitter account shows Hughes’ sense of humor and patience. His page is riddled with disgruntled teenagers blaming him for their teachers assigning them his videos to watch for homework and the occasional enthusiastic student thanking him for his help acing an exam.
“I had this one kid begging me to put his teacher’s face into one of my videos. So I put this guys funny face into one of my videos. I play with the Twitter trolls a lot, I can’t help myself sometimes,” he said.
Hughes’ educational emphasis is on the idea of “flipping.” Flipping is a form of blended learning where students use online materials at home or in a computer lab. In the past, this learning technique has been referred to as “homework in the classroom”, with more personalized guidance and interaction from the teacher. This creates a flipped classroom.
“Talking over slides is not the best thing for kids. We want to produce material that gives kids different learning, teaching and artistic styles,” said Hughes.
Recently Hughes has spent some time working in New York City on a yet to be announced show for H2. Though he can not reveal the nature of content of the program, it is tentatively scheduled to premiere in June.
It is refreshing to see, in a school district many consider falling apart, that there are teachers that go the extra mile to reach out to kids in a new way. Not only is Hughes engaging students in Buffalo with his YouTube channel, he is also engaging students across the country. Now that’s some serious outreach!
To visit Hughes’ YouTube channel, click here.