Save Instructional Time with Screencasts

» 27 June 2016 » In Ed Tech, Strategies, Web 2.0 » 2 Comments

screencast it

Here's a "case study" in lesson design that demonstrates the efficiencies of offloading information transfer via screencasts. 

Setting: I'm currently teaching Alaskan Studies at University of Alaska Southeast's MAT program. My course is teamed with a Multicultural Ed class. We have a cohort of 37 students in the first three weeks of their on-campus summer session. Our face to face class time is critical and we want the students to get to know each other before being sent out across Alaska on their student teaching placements.

Goal: I wanted to open the course with a place-based activity that gave the students a creative way to share something about themselves. I decided to give them two PBL design options - creating a poetry-inspired Haiku Deck [ Lesson ] or a developing a geo tagged tour using Google MyMaps [ Lesson ]. During the same class, I wanted to get them introduced to WordPress and our course blog where they would be regularly posting. 

All this was accomplished in a 3-hour class through use of short screencasts that explained each aspect of Haiku Deck, MyMaps and WordPress. Screencasts were made using Apple Quicktime Player and uploaded to a playlist on YouTube. 

Bottom line: By investing about 45 mins to make screencasts (in advance), I freed up three hours of class time for student interaction and production. 

You can view student products: Haiku Deck here and MyMaps here 

Here’s some student reactions to the workflow:

The “flipped” structure of this assignment was new to me, but eye-opening. Using YouTube and a course website to provide instruction without eating too much class time opens a number of possibilities for a teacher. Having that time instead for working on an assignment seems helpful for students, and it would free the teacher up to walk the room and help them individually with any problems they might be having. ~ Tim

This activity gave me a sense of fulfillment because I got to go at my own pace and actively create a project within a clear and manageable timeframe….The quick cadence of this activity was driven by Peter’s use of Youtube tutorials to deliver instructions and information about the project. This element all but cut out lecture time along with the inevitable (inferably painstaking) process of verbally answering repeated questions from students. In my experience as a student, verbal lectures and directions often cause me to get bored and then shut down, or to get lost and then shut down. The video clips smoothed over this issue and I anticipate utilizing this method in my future classroom. ~ Devin

It was fun, it has kept the entire class occupied for over two hours and I can see how this is an amazing learning opportunity and activity for the classroom. Allowing students a few different options to choose a way to creatively address a subject, giving them a set amount of time to accomplish the task and then providing a space to view their peers work in order to get ideas for the next activity. Brilliant. ~ Erin

Image credit: Flickr / eGuidry

Tags: , , , ,

America Divided: Teaching Media Literacy and Political Polarization

» 21 October 2014 » In How To, Strategies » No Comments


Survey tools and interactive data visualization for teaching media literacy and political polarization in America. Based on research by Pew Research Center.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get the Word Out: A Social Media Case Study

» 10 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Social Web, Strategies » No Comments


Here’s a brief case study in how use social media to showcase your work and create a professional learning network.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Students at the Center of the Learning

» 08 September 2014 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies, Students, Teachers » No Comments


I learned to be an instructional designer – an architect of learning environments. I designed lesson “spaces” where the thinking was being done by my students. By “flipping” a few instructional components and providing a student-driven evaluation, my students will be at the heart of the lesson. I’ll be floating at the periphery. Here’s how.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

#PDX Flipped Classroom Workshop Series

» 04 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, PD, Strategies, Students » No Comments


Join us at NWRESD Hillsboro OR. (Portland) Feb 2015 (dates TBA) for 2 and a half days of engaging hands-on workshops that will give you the ideas, tools and support to flip your class. Open to K-12 teachers and administrators (All tech and flip experience levels welcome) / Cascade Technology Alliance

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Read Documentary Films

» 26 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » 2 Comments


Lesson on using films as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. The lesson compares two documentary films detailing the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The first film was made in 1943 by the US government to justify the action. The second film was made in 2014 and features interviews with Japanese American incarcerees.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bots are Coming! Better Re-think My Lesson Plans

» 17 August 2014 » In Commentary, Ed Policy, Leadership, Strategies » 3 Comments


The video’s thesis is simple – robots are coming for our jobs. That begs the question – what skills should we be teaching to students who will have to compete against the bots for employment?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How to Read Documentary Photographs

» 12 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » No Comments


Lesson on using photographs as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. Features material from “Uprooted” a museum exhibit and website that showcases the photography of Russell Lee, staff photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and his work at the Japanese American farm labor camps of WWII.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Learning to Think Like a Historian

» 03 June 2014 » In Commentary, History / DBQ's, Strategies, Students, Teachers » No Comments


I’m joined by other educators who comment on “Teaching History By Encouraging Curiosity.” Ideas on how to create a more engaging history classroom that teaches students the foundations of historical thinking. With links to more resources and a podcast.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Satiric Lesson in Media Literacy

» 27 March 2014 » In How To, Literacy, Strategies, Visualizations » No Comments


Kendra Eash’s essay becomes a satiric video skewering the clichéd corporate message ad as a meaningless montage of grandiloquent pablum. Used as a prompt for a lesson in visual literacy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,