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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Need to Explain Everything? Part II

Last week’s news update shared examples of the videos that Kelsey and Christine created using Explain Everything (if you haven’t checked out their videos yet, then you should do that!). Since the last news update, I’ve heard from several other teachers about the technology that they are using in their classrooms, specifically in regards to creating instructional videos. This seems to be a hot topic right now and something that many people are interested in experimenting with. Mariah has been using instructional videos with a flipped classroom model for three years, pairing videos from other sources with her own videos. Students in her classes are used to watching instructional videos; she assigns the video and follow-up questions for homework at least once per month. Mariah has experience using the (free!) screencast-o-matic software and she’s also exploring using Camtasia (BB&N purchases a license for this software). Currently, Mariah is working on creating a library of videos (on Google sites) that the math department can utilize and share with each other, seen here in its early stages.

Rosario also uses Explain Everything, as well as Camtasia, Screecast-o-matic, and Powtoon to create instructional videos for her classes, something she has been doing since last year and loves. The videos that Rosario creates often explain a grammar point, give instruction on homework, provide an explanation of a group project, or explain how to use a particular tool. She posts all of her instructional videos to the class Haiku page and has found it to be very helpful for giving instructions. Feel free to check out Rosario’s Haiku pages, found here and here, but also available through your own Haiku page. She has posted tutorials that she created using Camtasia, Powtoon, Screecast-o-matic, and Explain Everything, so you are easily able to compare these technologies. Seriously, check out some of this- you get the gist of it, even if you don’t understand Spanish. Here are some YouTube videos: here and here and here

If you are also using any of these technologies and would like to share your experiences, let me know! If you are looking to bounce some ideas around and talk to an expert, feel free to see Mariah, Rosario, Kelsey, Christine, or Megan! Megan also wants to remind everyone that she’s here to help you with the technology you use or would like to try in your classroom. One of her favorite parts of her job is being able to connect the dots and help teachers connect with one another about how they are using technology. She always wants to hear about these wonderful ways of using technology to enhance the student experience, then help teachers connect with one another to further their own learning. To see what’s going on across all campuses in regards to technology, continue to check out this tech blog.

Speaking about cool uses of technology in the classroom, have you heard about Poll Everywhere? Al uses this technology on a regular basis in his classroom as a tool for quick formative assessments. Al started using this software a few years ago and has found it to be incredibly helpful in quickly assessing the learning within the classroom, allowing him to decide whether or not he needs to re-teach a topic or can move on to the next topic. If you are looking for a quick way to get an immediate and anonymous answer from every student in the class, ask Al about his experiences with Poll Everywhere!

-Katrina Fuller

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