How can you both welcome students and let teachers provide introductions before either group enters the classroom? That’s what Susie Valdez, the Chair of Santa Ana College’s Department of Child Development and Education Studies, wanted to address on her department’s faculty page. “Our department interacts directly with our local community. We are a family, and we want our students to feel like they can trust us and count on us,” she shared.
The design the department finally settled on does more than give each instructor’s contact information;their website provides educational background, a short biography, and an Animoto video designed by each faculty member. The inclusion for the Animoto videos was a recent addition to the website and has already received positive remarks from students. Susie felt “the videos are a great way for our students to learn more about our professors, both on a personal and professional level. It allows students to feel connected. Our students’ journey is our journey and understanding our students’ backgrounds, their obstacles and challenges, and their passions help us be better teachers and leaders in our field.” For example, one professor, Cristiane Oliveira-Foster, shared this video, which gives a glimpse into her life and educational philosophy.
Song: “Take Me With You” (Instrumental) by Jesse Platter and the Alter Ego
For Susie and her colleagues, “The videos help professors create an authentic relationship with both their colleagues and students. It shows we are real people who have families and hobbies, and are not merely containers of knowledge.” It gives the Division of Human Services and Technology that sense of community Santa Ana College strives for, and creates a welcoming presence on the division’s site that welcomes students into their programs.
If you’re looking to create video biographies of your own for a school or community college, here are a few tips to help you get started: