Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter

Hey, got your attention. Didn't I?

No, the title of this article does not carry the literal meaning of the quote. What it does mean is that human beings will get into a mental rut and follow an established way because it is the easy way. Teachers take an average of three years to develop their course curriculum and stick with it for a long time because it is the easy way. They follow a rut.

Question, "Is this effective teaching?" Shouldn't your video curriculum be reviewed and upgraded regularly or are the same old lessons presented the same old way; projects produced the same old way and broadcasts delivered the same old way. The video industry constantly upgrades its productions. Video teachers must do the same beginning with their lessons on through to finished student projects and productions.

Keep in mind that students today are constantly bombarded with new technologies and stylish video productions. They are accustom to and subconsciously expect the latest and greatest. This means that video/TV (from here on video) teachers must constantly upgrade their course material. if not, this will be a disservice to the students. Students also must be challenged to produce meaningful stylish productions.

However, this does not mean that teachers avoid teaching the basic video industry standards of production. Video 1 as well as Video 3 or 4 students must know and use these standards. One thing that I found over the years is that many video teachers lack certification or have minimal training to teach video and they make up their own methods of production and terminology.

Example - I have had many casual conversations with video teachers and one constant shows up - improper terminology. All fields of study have specific words and terms that are used. I have trained and studied Shotokan Karate for over 40 years and the Japanese terms that I know to indicate specific techniques enables me to go anywhere in the world and participate in a class and understand what technique the teacher, Sensei1, is calling for. Video students are not exempt from this principle.

Basics from terminology to skills and techniques are the building blocks that construct a solid foundation in any field of study. Also, another skill set to add, especially in video production, are the techniques of creative thinking.2

Basics and creative thinking skills can be combined to build a formula that develops innovations in the video curriculum and student lessons, projects and productions. Innovations that will get a mind out of the gutter.

Now that it is summer and while you are lounging in a pool, sitting and relaxing in the shade, or chilling out at your favorite camp ground take the time to ponder over your existing video curriculum and think about ways to change it. Look at broadcast TV to get ideas and get your creative juices flowing to upgrade your curriculum. Have A Happy.

1. Sensei is literally translated as teacher
2. There are many books written about creative thinking and lateral thinking. A leading
expert on lateral think is Dr. de Bono. Also, read about the lives of famous inventors.
Each had techniques to find, file and log their own ideas as well as those of others.


Raymond S. Adams was a high school teacher from 1964 to 1995. He earned a BS Ed from California University of PA, an MS Ed from Duquesne University and a certificate as an Educational Media Specialist from Indiana University pf Pennsylvania. This Specialist Certificate enabled him to have the background to open a home-based photography studio inRayAdamsCover 1969. As video became popular, video production became part of the studio's services.

During his teaching tenure, he taught photography, social studies and video production. In 1992 he published a textbook on video production, Video 101: A First Course in Video Production. In 1993, he was Pennsylvania's PPTN/PBS Instructional Television Teacher of the Year.

After retiring, he became an adjunct instructor at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he taught television production and methods of teaching history.