Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flipping Out with Screencast-O-Matic

 You know me...having a theme helps me focus my thoughts.  I joined the #July2014Challenge issued by @druinok to blog daily (or every other day, once a week, name your own schedule, etc...) for the month of July, but without a theme, I never quite know where to start. To help begin the writing process, I came up with #WebtoolWednesday, the name of the first  professional development series I ever hosted (I know, slightly sentimental).  I absolutely love finding new tools and I feel like I can find enough material to maintain this series for the month (Let me know, if you adopt the same theme...I would love to read your posts.)

I stumbled upon today's tool when I joined a short course this summer led by Joseph Zisk at CALU of Pennsylvania on flipping the classroom. I wanted to see the tools that he recommended and how he structured his e-course. Let me first say...he was great!  We had lots of supporting dialogue, videos, opportunities to practice, and class discussions.  He provide enough support to get me started with my goal for flipping PD.

Why flip? Twice a month, I lead professional development sessions for the whole faculty and throughout the school year I like to share tech tools when I find them. For some sessions, I feel like advance notice on the topic would be helpful.  I know have wandered into a PD session and quickly found my head spinning with ideas or questions.  I wanted to grab my phone and start researching, but I didn't want to be disrespectful to the speaker by looking like I was off task.  I have lead sessions for which I have planned a collaborative component, but everyone seems reluctant to start the discussion, because they are still processing the new information.  My goal for flipping is to allow everyone enough time to learn about, think about, and process the topic prior to coming together in groups to discuss implementation strategies.

In research implementation strategies, I have found blog posts, an iTunes U course on ways to flip, and a great article on the 7 Steps to Flipped PD.  While I understand that planning is essential, it also needs to be manageable...easy to duplicate...easy to implement.  Enter today's webtool...
I've used Jing and software for my interactive whiteboard to record my computer screen, but neither were as easy to use as Screencast-O-Matic!  Following the format of my e-learning course, here is video to tell you a little bit about it:
I used it to create a video of a Livebinder that I put together for new teachers joining our staff in August.  It took all of 15 minutes to make (I kept losing my train of thought and had to keep starting over otherwise it would have taken a lot less time). I had options to save the video within the web tool, publish to YouTube, or to my computer. I chose to publish to YouTube and marked it as private (and now I am sharing it with the blog-o-sphere, ironic!  But if it gives you an idea of how you can use it (with other teachers in your department/grade level, parents, or students), it was worth it!)  So, without further ado, here's my first attempt at using this super easy tool: Screencast-O-Matic:


K. Laster said...

Hi Cindy! I love all of the info in today's post! I've toyed with flipping more of our PD, so I'm eager to check out the resources you provided. I'm also excited to try the screen-cast-o-matic. You had me at "so easy!" and "little time." Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and these great resources.

Cindy said...

Thank you for your sweet comments. I ended up scripting what I wanted to say to keep it focused and concise. Otherwise it would have been faster. I am in #ptcamp, a book study on parent-teacher relations. I think that this same idea would be a great way to show parents how to use the school/class website and available resources. Please come back and share what you do!

Sarin Samuel said...

My Screen Recorder Pro is a better screencast software tool. Records your screen and audio from the speakers or your voice from the microphone - or both simultaneously. The recordings are clear and look great when played back on your PC or uploaded to YouTube. It will record directly to AVI, WMV, MP4, or FLV. Just perfect for creating tutorials, demos, and presentations. Plus, java is not required and there are no limits on recording length. Also, the recordings play back on any device.