One of the coolest things I taught myself this year was how to use CamStudio. If you watched my videos about Moodle, you saw them. (However, since we’re getting the new Moodle, I suspended the project.) I wanted to make a video from my computer because I believe that is where most of us use Moodle, so I set out to find easy-to-use program that would record my computer screen while I narrated my actions. CamStudio turned out to be something that fit the bill. The video I used to guide myself through the process was very easy to follow and the narrator was very informational (see below). I only did one take, though (after all, you know we teachers always have plenty of work to do!), so I know I could have done better if I had practiced and perhaps spent more time. Nevertheless, I think making instructional videos like that could help our students. I know many of us are finding new CMSs (Course Management Systems) since Moodle isn't being updated, so creating videos like this could be a helpful guide for our learners as they transition to a new CMS. Since the learning is essentially self-paced, they can go back and review what they don’t understand. Screenshots are also helpful and I have used those in the past, but students seem to engage more with narrated videos. Therefore, I would encourage you to try out CamStudio if you ever find yourself in a situation where you would like to create a tutorial for a new educational tool or of a concept or something. I do know that iPads also this capability, but I haven’t tried any of those apps… yet. I hope to do so soon and I will let you know about my experience.
Infographics seem to be the hot, new thing to do and this comes with good reason—they are very attractive and can deliver a lot of information in a short amount of time. Seriously, they are ALL over. I see them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter… It seems that everyone likes and uses infographics. However, as you know, not all infographics are created equal. Nevertheless, I think it would be a fun activity to challenge your students to create an infographic. I believe I will try to do this in conjunction with the I-Search paper (our version of the research paper); however, I have not done tried this yet, but this is what I think I will do:
1) Look at completed infographics and discuss what we like and what we think could be improved.
2) Have the students make a rubric for the infographic.
3) Have the students create infographics using http://infogr.am/
4) Share the infographics and discuss them as a class. Then choose which infographic is the best and why (which should go back to the rubric they created. That seems to be the most fair way, right?). Finally, I may even reward the best infographic-designer with homemade banana bread or something. ;-)
I think scaffolding the project like that would be an effective way to prepare learners and to make them aware of your expectations. Plus, this would employ a different kind of literacy that involves graphics and these new skills that are becoming more and more important in today’s world. When I try it, I'll let you know how it goes. If you try it before me, let us know how it went! (And share some tips, too, please!)
With the end of the quarter approaching, I have been quite busy! But do you know who else has been busy? Apple people. They now have a section called "Apps for Teachers" and while I'm sure you are familiar with at most (if not some) of these apps, you never know what you may find. (And if you find something good, let me know and I can add it to our site!) Here is what you do...
1. With your iPad, access the iTunes App Store.
2. At the top where it lists the categories, click on "More."
3. Using the drop-down menu, find "Education" and click on that. (See below for a visual aid.)
4. When you are in the "Education" category, you should see the "Apps for Teachers" in the menu at the top of the screen.
5. Scroll to the new "Apps for Teachers" menu and click on it.
6. Explore the categories with "Apps for Teachers." They include:
So there you have it. Apps suggested for teachers by Apple Inc. Perhaps it will help inspire you for 2nd quarter. ;-) Enjoy!
About the Author
Lesley is an English teacher who is passionate about using connectivism in the classroom and preparing students and teachers for using the tools that are available to them on a regular basis. This blog will focus on iPad apps and Web 2.0 tools that can enhance and diversify learning. Leave a comment and let me know what you think or what you'd like to learn about!