Todays kids have a vast understanding of technology and is necessary that we educators take advantage of that situation and use all these different tools in the classroom. With the integration of technology we see better results from the students and higher engagement levels.
Screencasts are videos that you can take straight from your screen, edit them any way that you would like, and publish them for your students to see. The first screencast that I took a look at was Screencast-O-Matic. This one was so simple to use that it instantly became my favorite. All I had to was create an account, downloaded the recording screen, and it was smooth sailing from there. You get 15 minutes for your recording, but that was plenty time for me. I was then able to save my recording on my profile and now I have easy access to it. Here is my Screencast-O-Matic video, which is at this link because this site will not let me embed videos unless I upgrade: Screencast-O-Matic
The next one I looked at was Adobe Spark. This site was just a mess. I had go through about a dozen steps just to START the video. And even I still wasn’t sure how to start it. It kept telling me to add a photo or a text… I’m really not sure what was going on with this site.
The last one I looked at was Jing. My biggest complaint about this one is not just the fact that you have to download an application, but the application is constantly staring at your face. I immediately uninstalled it. I also cannot upload the video I created to the site because I have to create ANOTHER account on a different website which wan’t even giving me access.
Instagram and Vine
Both Instagram and Vine seem like simple apps that probably don’t have much use in the classroom, but they really can be helpful. For example… here are some pics that I took with my Comic Book Club to promote the club. These pictures will also be put in the yearbook.
After thinking about what I can use vine for, I came up with a great way. In fifth grade history I teach the Bill of Rights, and I came across this video which shows how to teach the amendments with hand signals: Ten Amendments. I plan to turn each amendment into a vine and upload show my students.