By now, just about everybody has heard of screencasting. I’ve used it extensively in my technology classes, especially when I have a substitute so my kids still receive instruction on what ever project or skill we are working on. I use YouTube to host my videos and embed them in my class webpage. My students know that they will hear my voice along with my expectations and directions. Even on a normal day, I’ll use screencasting to help focus my students’ attention. Once everybody dons their headphones, the “chit-chat” stops and the students are engrossed in the the upcoming lesson!
During an Early Release Professional Development Day, I conducted a short training on screencasting with Screencast-O-Matic which is my favorite of a large assortment of online software available. It offers a free version where you can capture anything on your computer’s screen, including what you can broadcast with a document camera if you are using manipulatives or an iPad if you have Reflector or something similar. The staff at my school loved it and began to see how they could use it in the academic classroom setting. I use it so much that I pay the $15 to get all the extra features that you can see here.
My biggest success story came about a year later when a lead teacher talking about something he heard coming down the second grade hallway. “I thought that Ms. R. was out of state with her parents but I heard her teaching away in her room. I poked my head in the door only to see that she had prepared screencast videos for all of her lessons!” I was thrilled to know that I had a small part to play in this! As Oprah says, teachers had an “A-Ha” moment and realized that screencasting wasn’t just for the technology teacher.
Here are some of Ms. R’s instructional videos:
Telling Time Introduction
Expanded Form of Addition Introduction
Screencasting is a wonderful way for you to continue instruction if you are absent, or provide some extra support for students who might need it. Don’t have a document camera? Here’s a very inexpensive one that works great! You can purchase it here (this is not an affiliate link–it’s a nice little doc camera with no bells and whistles but very inexpensive and does the job).
I’d love to hear how you use screencasting in your classroom.