Stuck in a Slope? Let’s Find a Way to Intercept That and Get Out.

So, in the video below, I recorded a mini-review about the parts of y = mx + b, or slope-intercept form.  What I hope to achieve here is that people who watch it can get a better understanding of what and  are asking for when they look at y = mx + b.  I also hope for them to be able to plug the slope ( m ) and y-intercept ( b ) correctly into the formula if given those numbers and/or be able to tell which is the slope and which is the y-intercept if given the formula, like y = 4x – 5 for example.  In this case, they would find that m = 4 and b = -5.

After learning and messing around a bit with screencasting, I saw some benefits and a few struggles, but that can easily be overcome with perseverance and determination.  I am also very happy to finally figure out how those people on YouTube do those “How-To” videos that involve going from screen to screen.  Always thought that those people had a really good recording camera that was set up on some sort of amazing tripod and they created the video from there.

Anyways, the biggest benefit I can see is that screencasting can be very useful in filling in any holes that a lesson(s) could have had since, as we know, class time can be quite short (55 – 90 mins) and that not everything can be covered in that span of time.   Another benefit is that after the video is made, it is now a semi-permanent resource that can be accessed by one’s current students and future students if one was to teach the same lesson again.  Another benefit is that the application is easy and free to use (as far as I know) that one does not have to buy much equipment (except maybe a microphone).

The struggles I found are just some personal struggles that I feel like some people share with me.  One struggle is that, even with a script, one can still say too much or too little.  In other words, one can go off-script at times.  Another is that If one is really nit-picky about their recording, then he/she would probably restart every time he/she makes a mistake.  Another struggle is that the “attached” recording equipment can be faulty at times and one would not find out unless they do a test run or until the end, depending on the type of person one is:  “being prepared” or “power on through”.  I would make a new recording for the video down below, but I wanted to show where these struggles can pop up.  And like I said earlier, all of these can be remedied by staying determined and having the motivation to make a good lesson video for one’s students or for the people of the world.

So, I can see myself using this in the future definitely.  It was a lot of fun, though I did not enjoy hearing my own voice coming out of the speakers.  The idea of making these was challenging.  You know, making sure all the basis were covered, my “recording room” was quiet enough to record, my script was a draft of what I wanted to say (Reminder Points), and so on.

Enjoy the video! Hope you learned something or laughed at my mistakes!

Featured Image: Wikimedia

Screen-Recording-English-Paper-Research-Absolutely-Wild-Fun-Tyme!

I did my screencasting assignment on showing how to do research from the UP databases. At first I wanted to do multiple videos, however that desire quickly changed. I realized how scattered that would be because doing research on the internet involves going back and forth to certain websites. So I decided to just make one long video that comes out to be roughly around 3 minutes. After a few takes, I realized how awkward I seemed to be while just being a voice while talking over a website. This was just something I had to get used to. Quicktime makes it incredibly easy due to its user-friendly-ness, so that helped out a lot.

I have learned that there is so much use in screencasting. I feel that I would have understood how to do research at UP if I just saw a ten minute video online on how to use the databases rather than going to an hour and a half class on how to research. Also, when trying to find my “embedded” code in order to put the video on this blog, I went to different videos on YouTube to see where the code was. The multiple advertisements I saw while searching for the code seemed to be all screencasted. It was here when I realized just how much everyone uses this tool. I think this is an immensely useful tool to use. I would definitely encourage teachers to know how to use screencasting because they can convey things to students via video in a much more applicable way than talking.

Here is my screencast video about doing research at UP!

Featured Image is called “Typewriter” by Charlene N Simmons

What is a Nearpod, you may ask?

Instead of Screencasting for my students, since earlier in the year my kids did a Screencasting activity for social studies, I thought I would screencast something that teachers could use in their practice that is related to technology.  Earlier in the year during a PD on Smartboard activities, I was introduced to this great website called Nearpod, which is a website that allows you to create interactive PowerPoint presentations that students follow along with on their own devices.  The one major hindrance for this resource would be that students would need their own device, like a Chromebook or an iPad in order to be able to participate in the lesson.

Nearpod is a great tool for increasing student engagement because there are lots of interactive slides that you can build into your lessons, while also teaching students any concept that you might come across in your curriculum. I just thought I would share it with you guys, especially those of you who are secondary and may use PowerPoints  a lot and are looking for a way to get your kids more engaged.  In my Screencast, I show the viewers what a Nearpod lesson looks like both from the perspective of a student going through a Nearpod lesson, as well as what a Nearpod lesson looks like from the perspective of a student.

As for Screencasting, like I said earlier, the tech coach at our school came in earlier in the year and taught our kids how to use Screencasting to talk about these PowerPoint presentations that they all put together on Google Slides that showed what they had learned about the Revolutionary War up to that point.  They then posted their Screencasts to some website that they all had access to using their district Google accounts that were then accessible by QR codes that their parents could scan with their phones during a Tech Night that the school hosted in December.  I would love to do another Screencasting activity with my students, I just don’t know when we will have time before I’m done student teaching.

 

Featured Image Wesley Fryer

Class 7: Create and Share Content

Note: We will begin class by using this Google form to assess progress on our Critical Thinking Design Project.

Today’s class is the second in our three-class exploration of blended and flipped learning. Last week we looked at options for screencasting / slidecasting. This week we’ll look add a few more options for teachers or students to create content. Students will practice their skills in preparation for our next class where we will look at how to incorporate blended / flipped content into lesson design.

There many options for creating content – but here’s two categories and some free tools that will have many application for lesson designers.

Techniques we’ve already used

  1. Create content using VoiceThread and share with student. Shoot your own video – edit with iMovie. See class 5.
  2. Use Mac’s QuickTime Player or CaptureSpace to create a screencast / slidecast. See class 6

Create and share slides

  1. Export Powerpoint or Keynote slides to Slideshare  – sample by former student Peter Gallagher. Peter’s extensive collection of Slideshares.
  2. Here’s how to add an audio narration to a PowerPoint or a Keynote slide show.
  3. Use Google slides  – here’s an example of how to animate a math problem. Here’s a hack for adding a narration to Google slides.

Create and share videos

  1. Add narration to  PowerPoint or Keynote (#2 above) Then export as videos which can be shared as files or uploaded to YouTube. This is the technique Jeremy used to make his slidecast)
  2. Create a Paperslide video
  3. Create an animation using Toontastic 3d. It’s fun and a free tool from Google that works on smartphones, tablets, and select Chromebooks. Other animation creation options with free intro levels are Plotagon or Powtoon.

Host video content (created by you or found online) in a lesson
Add your commentary / questions, monitor student responses.

  1. Use EDPuzzle (includes library of lessons you can use)
    – Works with YouTube, Vimeo.
    – Has shortcuts to many popular videos series including: , Khan A, Numberphile, Crashcourse, National Geographic and more.
    – Can be embedded.
    – Sample Grade 3: Mathablanca
  2. Use TEDed (includes library of lessons you can use)
    – YouTube content only.
    – Cannot be embedded.
    – Sample: Who’s the Historian in Your Classroom

To simply share your YouTube or Vimeo videos without nuisances such as annotations and related videos using SafeShare.TV

Image credit: Creative Commons / Adobe Spark

What would I even use this for?

So Screencasting is something that I kinda sorta knew existed but never really bothered with it. Well, I finally bothered with it! I decided to mess around with Screencasting by teaching how to navigate a scientific research database. Looking back on my Biology Minor I really wish that one of my professors had told me how to navigate different research websites. Because of that it became my focus for practicing screencasting. Overall it was pretty intuitive on how to use it. In the beginning there is a bit of noise in the background so if I continue to use this I might want to invest in some sort of microphone.

My challenges are currently a lack of technology in my classroom. However in an ideal world I could see a couple uses for screencasting. I could teach my students how to use different applications like quizlet or edmodo which I both implement in my classroom. I could also show them different reliable and safe science websites.  By giving the students access to these videos they will be much more safe online and be exposed to routines that I implement in the classroom. This could free up valuable classroom instruction time, definitely a benefit!

I feel that I have only recently been exposed to screencasting so I really do not know all the opportunities that it could have for my future classroom but I plan on finding out!

Featured Image

https://www.flickr.com/photos/69504630@N03/6320530875/in/photolist-aCwnCg-4uu1k-dHxtKH-4zFbDW-aRufP6-aDuUL-oohXc-4MSLXm-8UMPZ3-4Nkp4-bgqHEX-5upwd8-4EVquu-9D4hFt-9D4gP6-9D7beW-L2kYf-7nUjfY-9D7cjU-9D4hEP-9D7bTY-9D7cLY-9D4hjP-9D4giR-9D4ide-9D4hUM-9D7cE3-9D4ggF-9D7az1-9D7cGC-L2kXd-9D4ifD-9D4ij8-8FmzXf-9D4gLF-9D7c73-9D4hBv-9D7avw-7k34sV-4NiPa-57ga9c-9BxRqj-5TcFgs-5NfGcU-aDuUk-7Jf643-LiR3R5-4tPWqy-LCkK1-4qN2vF

Attribution: librarianpond

Class 6: Screencasting Techniques

We will open our class with a student updates on their progress on our critical thinking design project and agree to some firm due dates. Then we will turn our attention to a new skill – screencasting.

Screencasting / Slidecasting

Edtech guru, Kathy Schrock defines screencasting as “the capture of the action on a computer screen while you are narrating. Screencasts can be made with many tools and are often used to create a tutorial or showcase student content mastery.” A related practice is slidecasting (creating a slideshow and then screencasting your narration of it as it plays on the screen). Kathy’s screencasting resources.

I make use of many edtech tools in my classes and workshops. Rather than teaching an edtech tool to everyone in a whole class setting, I think it is more efficient to make a short screencast and post it to my YouTube collection. That creates many flexible learning “tutorials” that I can use as part of flipped or blended lessons.

Here’s a few tips for screencasting:

  • I favor taking complex instructions and turning them into multiple shorter videos covering specific aspects of the task. Some students know one thing and not another. Why make them sit through a long how-to.
  • I use a plug in mic (just a standard iPhone earbud mic) rather than the microphone built into my Mac. (The built-in mic on my desktop sounds distant and echoes because of it’s placement in a corner of my office.) I check the volume level and mic position first to get sound level right and make sure I’m not “popping” when I say my “Ps.”
  • I first practice the skill a few times to find efficient ways to demonstrate and describe what I am doing.
  • If I will be entering much text as part of the task, I create a text document first so I can copy/paste text into the app I’m demonstrating ( I hate watching videos of people typing.)
  • I make sure any images, websites or other content I will use in the video are readily available.
  • I try and do the screencasts in one take. I don’t worry too much about flubbing words – hey, it’s only a screencast.

I typically use Quicktime Player, which is built into the Mac OS. It’s easy to use and quickly uploads to my YouTube account.  Here’s a screencast I made on how to use Quicktime Player to make a screencast. (very meta)

 

Screencasting with CaptureSpace

This week we’ll explore how to screencast / slidecast using the CaptureSpace tool that’s built into UP’s MediaSpace. It’s a robust app that opens up a few more options for capture and editing that using Quicktime Player.  It also provides a place – MediaSpace – where student’s can upload the finished product.

Note you might also want to check out video tutorials on Microphone setup and how to Edit Your Screencast Before Upload

Assignment

Student’s will use class time to design and record a screencast (or slidecast)  using CaptureSpace. If they use Quicktime Player, they should plan to load it up to there YouTube account. It could be related to our critical thinking design project, an upcoming lesson they hope to use in their placement, or just some content or skills they would like to describe.

After creating and uploading the video to UP MediaSpace, students should write and upload a blog post that describes what they hoped to accomplish with the video and what they see as the challenges and opportunities of screencasting / slidecasting. They should use the MediaShare “Share” function to create an embed code so they can include to their screencast in the blog post.

Here’s a how-to video explaining how to do that (made with QuickTime)

 Image credit: Adobe Spark public domain media

Class 5: VoiceThread and iMovie

This week students will report directly to the Digital Lab in Clark Library for training in using VoiceThread and iMovie.

They will learn to use VoiceThread commenting on our Critical Thinking Brainstorm presentation.

Our iMovie training will give students a chance to remix some classic WWII public domain propaganda films and cartoons. Such as Oscar nominated “Mr Blabbermouth” (1942):

Class 4: Elevator Pitch and Design

Today’s class will be our first brainstorm / design session building on Assignment 3: Brainstorming Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum

Class will open with each student giving a 5-minute “elevator pitch” followed by feedback from peers.

Next we will see if there are some common themes or approaches that tie all the individual ideas together.

Finally students will begin to capture some of their thinking on this shared Google Slide presentation.

Image credit: Flickr: Marco Wessel – Elevator Pitch for Katie

Assignment 3: Brainstorming Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum

During our discussion of Fake News, we realized that our students need more practice in the critical evaluation of information. We saw an opportunity to create a collection of lessons that teach critical thinking in various disciples such as math, science, history and English. Here’s a great example from math How to Lie, Cheat, Manipulate, and Mislead using Statistics and Graphic Displays. 3.9MB pdf

Assignment:

Come to class with ideas to share. You will have 5 mins each to give an “elevator pitch.”

So this coming week all students will brainstorm what content those lesson might cover, and how we might deliver the lessons. They might be standalone lessons or we might try to pick a common theme and approach it from different disciples. We’ll see.

This will likely be a multi-week project and a chance to use some new tech tools in a project-based approach. Plus when we are done, we’ll have a showcase product to share.

Here’s some content ideas we got started:

  1. Visual literacy – looking at images
  2. Map how to read news article
  3. Design and read infographic
  4. Lie with statistics
  5. Mr DNA guide (that guy from Jurassic Park)
  6. English – propaganda, world of text and author
  7. History – how narrative can be used to frame events from point of view. How do you look at evidence.
  8. Bad examples of critical thinking.

Delivery ideas:

  1. PDFs
  2. Blog posts
  3. Prezi, Powerpoint, Keynote
  4. Infographics
  5. Cartoon characters like Toontastic 3D
  6. Tests – Kahoot
  7. Memes
  8. Games
This project serves a number of purposes:
  • Work on our digital literacy skills
  • Focus first on good instructional design
  • Explore design and deliver of  PBL
  • Interdisciplinary approach allows all students to contribute from their perspective
  • Address an issue of critical importance
  • Provide a vehicle for utilizing a variety of tech tools
  • Provide an opportunity for assessing the efficacy of our methodology and tech tool selection

Image Credit: Flickr: Chris Potter 3D Bright Idea
ccPixs.com

The Ripple Effect

http://images.tutorvista.com/cms/images/101/waves.jpg

I do it all the time in order to greet a friend or a relative. I think everyone does it at some point; everyone’s learned how at some point of their lives. But what, really, is the core of this simple motion, this simple greeting we offer to our friends and loved ones?

It is the wave, my friends, and it is not simply the back and forth motion of your arms or hands. It has a particularly deep occupation in the world of science, from climatology to meteorology to oceanography; to physics, psychology…everything. Waves are connected to everything and everyone.

During my research concerning waves, it boggled my mind how delicate the nature of waves is, as well as the tenacity and strength that they can have. Add in the ripple effect and the other properties that come along with it, well….it’s just amazing. Every time I think of the ripple effect, I am reminded of the proverb or saying about a butterfly’s wings? Something about starting from a butterfly and ending up as a strong gust of wind halfway across the world? Something like that.

While I was looking for media, I was really inspired by all the creativity that I found when looking at images. I found the pictures that I saw on Flickr especially to be super calming and definitely something worthwhile to look at.

Wave

Like the one above from AJC1. Doesn’t this just make you want to go swimming/surfing/whatever you do in the ocean? Isn’t it weird to think that this picture of a particular kind of wave makes your brain send out a different kind of wave? (a brain wave…duh.)

Waves are super calming, and I loved seeing all the creativity that went into trying to convey that. I looked at some of the science-y stuff that I found as well, but there were some things that I didn’t really understand, mostly because it was really late at night and I didn’t feel like delving that much into hyper-physics (I’m pretty sure that’s a thing). Not only waves super calming, but they’re also essential to nature for various reasons. (Again, more science-y stuff) In the link, I have provided my OneNote compilation of said calming pictures of waves and such, and there’s an article there that explains the benefits of the ocean’s waves in 6 easy little blurb-y paragraphs.

I found that I spent most of my time on Flickr, just looking at pictures of the ocean. It made me kind of homesick to be honest. This is probably the reason why I switched to science. Then the science aspect started to speak in…well, science lingo, and that bored me out of my mind. I had the (bad) smart idea to look into brain waves, and I saw lots of MRIs of brains in lots of different bright reds, greens, yellows, and some in some really calming blues and grays…although I think the calmer colors mean little to no activity? I also used a lot of regular Google searching.

What made this experience really fun was being able to use OneNote in a way that wasn’t notes. It felt sort of like scrap-booking, and I’m really into that kind of thing. Maybe now I’ll be able to use it more like a scrap book than anything educational.

That’s it for now!

 

My OneNote Thing!

Featured Image: Waves from Tutorvista.com