Cool Tools for School, Thing 7: Podcasting and Screencasting

As I mentioned in the last post, I was a bit overwhelmed trying to wrap up the last two Cool Tools and working on my other projects, namely the Flipped Classroom class I was doing. So, when I finally remembered I could skip and hop between Tracks and noticed this Thing on podcasting and screencasting, I got really excited. You see, the final assignment for our Flipped Classroom class was to make our own videos for a unit in our classrooms. Thing 7 would give me the opportunity to explore and experiment with tools I needed for my other class-awesomesauce times a million!

For one of our classes we had to bring in a video and share with partners for feedback. This is the initial video I brought in for that class:

Two pieces of feedback I received on my initial video attempt were that it was great to be able to see me while I talked/explained the task to the students and that it would have been nice if it was easier to see the worksheet I was talking about. With that in mind, I decided to explore the options we learned about in class as well as the options from Cool Tools for one that would allow me to use both picture in picture and annotate an image of the worksheets I would be having students use during our poetry unit.

Some of the tools overlapped and all of them were pretty neat but, I really struggled finding a free tool that would allow me to have both picture in picture capabilities and the ability to view and annotate the worksheet each video was about. After what felt like tons of searching and many almost  perfect options, I finally stumbled upon an iPad app called Playback.

Playback was everything I was looking for: it allows you to upload documents for annotating, allows for voiceover narration through the built in microphone on your iPad and (most importantly for what I was trying to accomplish) allows for full screen or picture in picture videos. It also allows you change throughout the recording between full screen video of yourself, picture in picture video and just the uploaded document. It was super easy to use and get acquainted with and is FREE! The videos you make are automatically saved to your iPads camera roll so they are super easy to find again and upload somewhere else for viewing.

I took the videos I created for each worksheet and turned them into Auras, with each worksheet acting as the triggers for the corresponding video, using the Aurasma app. Again, since I was using the app and Playback stored my videos right in my camera roll, it took seconds to connect each video to the photo of the worksheet and create fun Auras for my students. Students then could use the Aurasma app (open and locked using the iPad’s guided access feature) on each table to watch the instruction videos anytime they needed help remember what to do with each worksheet. This freed me up to circulate and answer more poetry/rhyming based questions instead of answering the same, “what are we suppose to do with this one” questions over and over again.

Here are the final three videos I ended up using for my unit:

Even though I didn’t find a platform that suited my immediate needs for the Flipped Classroom assignment I was working on, I still really enjoyed finding and learning about the resources available for podcasts and screencasting. I’m intrigued and by this flipped classroom approach to teaching and am glad I’ll have so many options for creating videos next year. I’m also excited to use some of the resources over the summer when I do yet another website overhaul.

On a final note, I just wanted to thank Polly for putting together such a great session for us! One of my favorite classes when I was in library school was similar to Cool Tool in that we explored and tried out different technologies. It’s also one of my favorite things about being a school librarian-I mean how cool is it that part of our job is to play around with what’s new and fun in the world of technology?!? Thanks again Polly for giving me a platform to keep exploring amazing resources and doing so much of the legwork so I could just explore and play and learn.  Can’t wait to do this again next year!

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