Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Screencast your Solutions

With a history as a chemistry teacher I found that I solved many of the same problems over and over again throughout the years.  I would give a homework assignment and offer to go over all the questions students were unable or not confident in solving.  I found that, although this was a helpful task, it quickly ate up time in class.  How could I streamline this process?  I began screencasting problems.

The Tools:
Screencastify (or screencast-o-matic if not on a chromebook)- Allow the recording of up to 10 minutes of either a tab in a browser or using a webcam.  I just made sure I downloaded the video to google drive and shared it to free up my 10 minutes.

Daum Equation Editor - This is a web based equation editor where I could type in the problem end explicitly work through how I solved the problem.

Webcam - Like a webcam, many document cameras can hook up to a computer with a USB cable.  This will turn the document camera into a high resolution camera.  I often used this to record my hand writing out the solution to a problem on a piece of paper, just like you would do it on the board.  While doing this, you can also project the image that you are recording.

WeVideo - If I wanted to get fancy.  I could edit the video.  As I tried to keep these to quick videos, I rarely used this tool.

Tell the Class to be Quiet and hold their Questions.
As I would go over the problems, I would always save one problem to screencast.  When I got to this problem, I would tell the students to be quiet and that I would be turning this into a video.  I would record the video and audio of me solving the problem, then post it online for students to see.  Upon completion I would turn off the recording and ask if there were more questions.

Get it Done Before Class.
Prior to class I would do the same thing and I would post them to my class webpage.  As students entered the room, I would check their homework and then tell them where to find the videos in case they had questions.

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