One of my responsibilities at Jewish Day School is to write a weekly “tech tips” column for the online faculty news. This is one such tip.
One major challenge that students (of any age) face when learning how to use a new tool is that, when demonstrated, the application seems simple and easy. But now, on one’s own, finding that button or toggle that made everything easy in class is deucedly difficult. There are a number of ways to combat this, ranging from having the teacher physically present every moment that students are completing their first (and maybe second and third) projects to shrugging our collective shoulders and averring that, in fact, the puzzling-it-all-out process builds character and reenforces learning. Pain doesn’t reenforce learning; pain reenforces aversion to learning. Instead, how about providing instructions? Perhaps even instructions in the manner in which they were presented in the classroom, creating a familiar context and voice? A number of teachers have been exploring the possibilities of screencasting — recording what’s happening on your computer — in teaching with technology this year. It’s easy: it only takes a few minutes to record a screencast and post it to the internet, where you have a link to share with students at the end of a lesson.
An example of a quick use of screencasts to reenforce in-class teaching: A quick introduction to iMovie ’09
All these tools have links to screencasts explaining how to use them on their front pages! (How meta is that?)
Further resources: [A colleague] and Seth Battis talk about their experiences screencasting this year on the Laptop Leader pages.
Seth Battis February 12th, 2010
Posted In: "Tech Tips" Column