This is the fifth post in a series I am writing about the ICT in the classroom unit I am coordinating this semester. The aim of the unit is to give initial teacher education students the opportunity to consider critically a range of issues of concern to all teachers who use ICT in their classroom. The unit is based on authentic learning principles and students use a range of technologies as cognitive tools to produce a meaningful unit of work that they will be able to use in their future teaching studies and careers.
- ICT in the classroom: Course structure
- ICT in the classroom: Tasks overview
- ICT in the classroom: Task 1
- ICT in the classroom: Task 2 report
This post discusses some of the technologies that students could use to create a narrated video with footage of themselves. For Task 2 students are required to research how technology is being used in their are of teaching (e.g. Maths, science, media etc.). Once they have found their resources and written their report they then need to create a 5 minute narrated presentation which includes at least a few seconds video footage of them self (for invigilation purposes). They then need to publish their video on a public website and link or embed it on their own website (see my mock-up history example on the Teacher info page on my Zohosites History Talks website). Students will then peer review each others work (reports and videos) and provide constructive feedback for improvements ( I will discuss the peer review process in a future blog post). This task is a stepping stone for their final task (Task 3) where they will develop an authentic unit of work for their teaching area and year level. The context for this task is about sharing their research findings with fellow educators e.g., publishing their report and presenting their findings (in real-life this is most often done in a face-to-face meeting with colleagues, however, virtual presentations are starting to becoming quite popular).
Podcast resource issues
Before, we look at presentation tools, I want to discuss an issue some students have raised regarding the difficulty in finding an audio podcast related to their area of teaching that discusses how technology is being used to support student learning. For most topics (e.g., maths, social sciences, english etc.) this is not too difficult, but for more uncommon subjects (e.g., legal studies, music etc.) finding a podcast that explicitly discusses how technologies are being used in the classroom can be very difficult. In this situation, I encourage students to look at the content of the podcast and think about what technologies could be used or how the technologies mentioned might be used in a classroom to support student learning. For example; the audio podcast I found is called “Teaching Australian History“. This podcast does not explicitly mention any technologies, except videos, and then the focus is on students passively watching videos to absorb information. However, the presenter and guest speakers do talk about getting students to “do history in the classroom“. This is the concept of authentic learning where students become historians which involves researching historical events, places, or people, doing oral history interviews and getting involved with others. So, we might think about how does a real historian works and what technologies they would use. We might also reflect on one (or more) of the other resources we located. For example, the article I found discussed using the Internet to research historical events or people. Therefore technologies that would support student learning might be; using the Internet (& other resources) to research their subject, using recording devices to capture oral interviews, using word processors to write notes, transcribe their audio transcripts and produce their historical story. Videos are mentioned briefly in the podcast, which may lead us to think about students using technology as cognitive tools and having them create a video, or maybe a podcast to present their historical stories. The podcast also mentioned how popular genealogy has become and there are lots of free technologies available for researching family data and producing family trees. The main aim of the research is to gather and generate ideas about how technology could be used in the classroom to support student learning in a specific area of teaching. So if the selected teaching area is a bit uncommon students might have to be encouraged to think a little more creatively
Why we included a video presentation in this task
Videos are often used by educators to provide information to students. However, they can also be powerful cognitive tools when used by learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a concept, process or theory by creating their own video. Students employ higher order cognitive skills such as analysing, synthesising, and creating (Churches, 2012) to produce video presentations. Creating videos provide learners with the opportunity to articulate what they have learnt to a broad audience. There are many free online presentation, screencasting and video tools available so having students create their own videos provides them with the opportunity to; explore different technologies, make critical decisions about which technologies are the most appropriate for the task context and gain hands-on experience using video tools.
Creating an online video
There are many free applications and online video tools that you can use to create a video that includes footage of the presenter and an audio narration. Below are a few examples:
- PowerPoint, iphone & authorStream. One of the easiest methods for creating an online video is to create a short video of yourself (using your iphone, ipad or computer webcam) and then embed it into a PowerPoint presentation. You then record a narration for each of the slides in your presentation and upload the finished presentation to authorStream, a free online slide and video sharing website. View my mock-up history video. Note: The PowerPoint audio narration is not the best quality, but it is sufficient for this task.
- PowerPoint, webcam & Jing. Another simple method is to create a PowerPoint presentation, embed your webcam video footage of yourself and then use Jing to record and narrate your on-screen PowerPoint presentation (ProfKelly, 2010). When you download and install Jing, you will be advised to create a free screencast.com account. When you have completed your Jing screen recording, your file will be automatically published on your screencast.com account. View my history mock-up video.
Note: The maximum recording time for a Jing screencast is 5 minutes. The re-recorded webcam video quality is not very good (but it is sufficient for this student task) and it takes a few seconds to stream, so please be patient. You could also use Keynote, Prezi or any other presentation software as the basis of your presentation.
- PresentationTube. Download the free software, open your PowerPoint presentation (inside presentationtube), select camera settings and record your presentation. Once you have finished, go to PresentationTube.net and follow the instructions to upload your video files. View my history mock-up video.
- Screenr. An online screen recording technology. You could create a PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or other presentation and then run it on-screen and use screenr to record your screen and audio narration. Or, you could just record your screen and go live to the 4 resources you located. View my history mock-up video. Note: My other half was working outside my office window and I managed to avoid most of the drilling and hammering, but you will hear a loud crash at the beginning of the video. My apologies, I was lazy and did not re-record it
- Camtasia studio (download free 30 day trial), webcam & PowerPoint (or Keynote or still images). Camtasia Studio is more complex because it provides lots more features and includes editing tools. Features such as; transitions, adding title slides, zoom-in and lots more. You can upload your completed video to your YouTube.com or screencast.com account or save it as a file on your computer. This is my favourite video recording software but unfortunately it’s not free.
You will find more information about presentation, screencast and video technologies on the Technology Toolbox for Educators wiki. If you have any examples of how video technologies are being used by students as cognitive tools I would love to hear about it