Tools, Tools, Tools…

4 02 2017

When I first looked at the tools listed in the weekly schedule I was completely overwhelmed with all the new tools and applications to try out both individually and with a class. Although, they all have their own strengths and limitations, it is vital for the educator to take into account what they are able to take and run with. In many cases the teacher has a very busy schedule with extra-curricular coaching or activities along with their everyday duties of teaching, planning and marking. It must be noted that all these tools would have benefit in the classroom setting in their own way. That being said, taking a look at a couple and trying to implement them is the best way of slowly getting more comfortable with the ever-changing technology that is available in the classrooms.

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Photo Credit: es Program 

This week I have chosen to explore and use the Screecastify add on to Google Chrome. It seems to be an excellent way to record and save video of what the user is trying to get across. Upon first logged in and getting this application added to the computer, it gave me a seemingly very loud video outlining the program and how it is used. I was able to view this for a little while and then closed the video as I was excited to see what it had to offer. I wanted to try it out for myself, and in doing so I found a couple different neat things that the program offers:

  • You are able to change the quality of the recorded video, in order to accommodate space, you are recording onto.
  • You can record using only computer audio or microphone. You can also incorporate both sound options at the same time.
  • The video will save directly to your Google Drive account in a pre-created folder.
  • You also have the option to record your video to a folder of your choosing on your computer.

This is primarily a free program that will allow the user to record up to ten minutes of video at a time, and up to 50 videos a month on the free account. However, if a person needs to record longer videos and/ or more than 50 in a month, they would have to subscribe to the paid (premium) account. The cost of this is $24.00 USD per year, which in current currency conversion will be just over $31.00 CAD.

https://www.screencastify.com/buy?utm_source=app&utm_source=app&utm_campaign=recording_length

In regards to using this application in the classroom, the free account would tend to be more than enough functionality for the uses in a classroom for projects. The great thing about Screencastify creating and MP4 at the end of the recording would be the ability to import multiple ten minute videos into a program like Movie Maker or IMovie. By combining a number of videos the user is able to cut and work with the errors that may have occurred in the recording. This would also provide the user to create a larger video out of multiple ten minute videos.

I have a student in my classroom working on a Genius Hour project and is getting close to completion. She will be away from the school on the dates of presentation and I have asked her to try Screencastify in order to present her project, even though she is not able to attend on the live presentation dates. This was both exciting for her and gave her the chance to become an “expert” in the program for when we use it for other projects later in the year. As an over achiever, she is often complete assignments early and looking for additional learning experiences. Using and trying out Screencastify is becoming something she looks forward to using for this project. I can see the ideas that she is coming up with in recording her project, and the different uses of the program that she is beginning to explore.

In the very near future, I plan to implement this program into a project that students will complete in regards to a science experiment. Having the students type up a lab report and explain their findings, hypotheses, and procedure will allow them to experience a different style of presentation skill intended to showcase their learnings from the lab. By incorporating images, text, videos and speech, students will have the chance to link to a variety of different forms of information contained all in one simple to use application. This tool will potentially assist in marking the work as well, as I will not have to visit a huge amount of websites and videos, as they will already be contained in the video that students create using Screencastify.

Moving forward, I look forward to dabbling in this tool and learning more about the different functions and abilities it will be able to accomplish in the daily classroom grind.

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3 responses

4 02 2017
benitastruik

I really like screencastify as well. I have used screencast-o-matic in the past and liked it until I tried this one. It was fast and the upload to youtube was easy. Screencasts-o-matic is slow to upload. I’m not sure if this is possible in screencastify but I would like to be able to adjust the area that it records rather than record my whole desk top.

5 02 2017
etherrienblog

I had also never heard of or used Screencastify, but it seems awesome! I absolutely love that it automatically saves to Google Drive. The whole google universe is well thought-out like that, isn’t it! Thanks for sharing!

5 02 2017
kelsielenihan

What a neat idea to have students remotely present projects! I’ll have to keep that in mind for my next projects.

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