If you have a Smartboard or a Promethean board then you already have the software to allow you to make screencasts. A screencast is a way of capturing everything that you do on a computer screen with audio narration, and save it as a movie file to share later.
By using this technique you could run through a presentation and capture it with your own voice over the top. It could allow teachers to record parts of a lesson, or to create revision guides. If coupled with the interactive whiteboard it would also record all your handwritten annotations as well. You’d need a longer microphone lead, or you could plug a USB microphone into the USB port on some newer smartboard models.
Even better, you could get pupils to create their own screencasts to demonstrate what they know.
I used the Smart Recorder bundled with Smart Notebook to record my lesson starters talk the other week.
Here’s an example of a screencast produced by a teacher to demonstrate mathematic principles, it comes from the Mathademics YouTube Channel:
In Smart Notebook
Look for the small blue/white Smart Notebook Icon in your system tray, or look in Start -> Programs -> Smart Technologies -> Smart Notebook -> Smart Recorder (or similar path)
The Smart Recorder tool will open and look like this:
By clicking on the narrow button next to the record button you can choose whether to record the whole desktop, a chosen area or a chosen window, depending on what you want to demonstrate.
Hitting the record button will start the recording. Hit the stop button when done and it will ask you for a filename and save the file. Still need help? Here’s a guide I found.
In Promethean ActivInspire
From the Promethean Toolbar click on Desktop tools.
This will minimize the ActivInspire software and leave the small floating tools icon. Click on this to open it up and select the screen recorder tools. Again you can choose whether to record the whole screen or a chosen area.
What to screencast?
Using the screen recorder tool, pupils could:
- Make audio stories – move clipart characters on the “stage” of an IWB page to tell a story.
- Explain how they carried out a particular piece of work
- Make revision guides
- Produce instructional guides
- Make a tourist guide to their area combined with Google Maps / Street View
- Role play in a foreign language
and much more.
In both cases the recorded screencast can be used as-is, or could be edited in video editing software such as Movie Maker to add other elements before being published. Upload to YouTube to share with the world, or put onto the school Learning Platform / VLE to share with a smaller audience.
There are other pieces of software out there that will do screencasting, but if you already have one of these two boards you should already have something on your computer which, for free, will do the same job!
One of the talks I gave at the Teacher2Teacher conference was on finding useful digital content to use on your Interactive Whiteboard. There’s more to the Internet than YouTube and Google Image search!
Although this presentation was delivered mainly to Smartboard users, and the original presentation produced in Smart Notebook format, the information is very useful to any IWB users. Or even teachers who have a projector and no board.
So I have uploaded the presentation to Slideshare if you would like to take a look.
All of the links from the session can be found here : http://delicious.com/dannynic/t2t. The links in the presentation don’t work I’m afraid…. long story.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that if you now do a Google Image search you can click on Advanced Search to bring up more options. You can then specify what Usage Rights you want – so basically searching for Creative Commons images.
I also like the fact that in the basic Google Image Search you can now also specify the colour of the image you want. So you can narrow down your search for a Flower to yellow flowers, or red flowers. Don’t just search for Elephant – look for Pink Elephants!
Try it out, it’s very cool. Click on the coloured boxes to the left of your image search to change colour.Read More
Thanks in part to an Open Letter to Prezi by UK teacher Mark Clarkson, the fantastic online presentation tool, Prezi, has announced a free educational license for teachers and students. Students and teachers can now create private prezis for free. Upon verification of student/teacher identity, Prezi EDUEnjoy is free and Prezi EDUPro comes with a special educational discount.
And also they’ve simplified the Prezi editor so that it has half the menus of its predecessor, but having more features. They’ve made text editing easier and introduced YouTube integration.
If you haven’t played with Prezi before – do check it out. It allows for presentations with much more impact than bullet-point-covered PowerPoints. And well done again to Mark Clarkson for getting them to agree to the educational license pack!Read More
This video was shown at last night’s TEDxOrenda event at BETT last night. I thought it was pretty inspirational. Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life’s most valuable lesson: “I can.” Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.
And if they can do it… you can do it!Read More
As well as making some interesting points about digital natives, it also shows how presentations can benefit from losing all the bullet points and combining small amounts of text with punchy images.Read More
Just wanted to share a great little presentation that was mentioned on Twitter the other day. I didn’t write this, but I do think it’s great!
I may not be totally here yet, but a lot of my newer presentations are trying to have fewer words and many more pictures.
Try and do the same with your IWB materials as well. A really good image can make such a difference.Read More
The new version of the Shift Happens / Did You Know video has been released on YouTube. This one focusses on the changing media landscape.
I think the shift to pocket devices is the most interesting. I use my Nokia N95 a lot to check my email, but I only use it on a few websites. Mainly to check football scores, twitter and facebook. It’s very tricky to log into sites using predictive text, so I avoid it.
But having played with my wife’s new iPhone, really shows how it could be done. I thought the N95 was cutting edge when it came out, but thats nearly 2 years ago now. It’s much more of a portable personal communication device – with easier text input, better browsing etc.
More and more students will be bringing these powerful devices into the classroom. How do we harness that technology? Should we make them switch them off? Or make use of them?
How pointless is a filtered school network when the kids can access any website they want in the playground? (I once heard a teacher state that there was more bandwidth being used in the playground than in the rest of the school)
We should be teaching and promoting responsible use of these devices. Yes there are risks of them being stolen, of students filming/photographing teachers and each other in inappropriate ways. What are your school policies for dealing with this?
Here’s a great blog post by Mark Prensky: “Should a 4 year old have an iPhone?“. Makes you think. My 4 year old niece loves my wife’s iPhone. She took to some of the games really quickly. She loved animal snap These kids are going to grow up with these devices in their pocket, in a much more connected world that we ever had when we were growing up.
How do we make the best, appropriate use of this tech? And educate safe use? I’m not proposing any answers here, but it is something we need to be addressing. We’re supposed to be preparing students for the future, but we seem to be doing it by living in the past and pretending this techological shift isn’t happening.
(And yes, I have a month to wait and I can upgrade to an iPhone. I could do it now but 02 never seem to have any in stock!)Read More
Stupeflix is a new site that lets you turn images into video slideshows in the same way that Animoto does. It’s currently in Beta and while you can create videos for free it looks like there may be a charge in future.
You can add images by copying and pasting the image URLs froma site such as Flickr, or by uploading images. You can’t (at present) pull images in from a Flickr photoset in the same way as Animoto can.
It’s very easy to group images into smaller sets – and add captions to an image or a group of images very quickly.
Unlike Animoto you have to upload your own mp3 music files – you can’t choose from a bank of creative-commons tunes. But it is easy to get songs from a site such as Jamendo and add a credit to your video. This would also be a good way of producing a podcast – adding images to go alongside an mp3 podcast file you had produced.
The video generation is pretty quick too. You can produce iPhone video, Quicktime or Flash video. Once produced you can download your video as a file – or view it online. I can’t see immediately how to embed this video into your blog directly from Stupeflix. You would need to download it and upload elsewhere to somewhere like Vimeo. This is a little silly, and I hope they provide embedding options in the future.
So here’s the quick video on Stupeflix I’ve produced. Only took about 10 mins or so to make. Direct link to the video is here.
Jose Picardo has produced a good guide to using Stupeflix for podcasting – you can view it here.
There is a bank of ready-made videos on there, taken from images on Wikipedia from the look of things. You can view them here, and if you have an account you can use them as the basis of your own video by remixing them.Read More
Wall Wisher is an online notice board maker. It gives you a virtual space where you can post short text notes in the same way that you could put post-it notes onto a notice board in your classroom. But this noticeboard can be shared between people all over the world. As well as text notes you can add images, video and links to other websites.
It’s a neat way of getting a shared space to collect ideas from people for a brainstorm. Or to post resources for a topic. Students could ask questions about a topic which you (or each other) can then answer
Doug Belshaw set one up and posted the link on Twitter – very quickly ideas were coming in from lots of people. You can see the wall (now locked) here. You can also see a “whats so great about the smartboard” wall that Jim Hollis posted on his blog the other day.
As an experiment – I’ve set a Whiteboard Blog wall up here. Apparently you can embed the walls into your blog, so I will try that below (although it uses Iframes which sometimes really confuses WordPress)
Obviously with any open online space there is a risk of abuse. Wall Wisher only has two mode – one where only you can add stuff to the wall, and one where anyone can add stuff. Obviously it would be nice to have a more controlled protection where you can set people up to access the wall, or need a password to get onto it. You can lock the wall to protect it once you have enough ideas on it.
Wall Wisher is an interesting idea – and I am sure there are lots of ways it could be used in the classroom. I’d be interested to see how it develops, and whether there will be future modifications that allow more control over the space.
If you do use it with your class – leave a note in the comments to say what you’ve done. I’d love to hear from you!Read More