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Spreading the Knowledge: You Can Record Your Course with Ease, but Before You Do, Here Are 5 Things You’re Going to Need

Long ago, good teachers gave up on the talk-and-chalk approach to teaching. Technology pulled some educators kicking and screaming into a new era. But, the best of them have embraced how technology can reconfigure, rejuvenate, and revolutionize teaching.

For those who teach online, the challenge is a little different. Online teachers are already pioneers in using technology, but some of them are still stuck in what now seem elementary cut-and-paste and Powerpoint presentations.

Huffington Post claims, “at least one in five undergraduates has participated in at least one “distance education” course as part of their studies, and many middle, high and even elementary school teachers have begun using some form of distance learning in the classroom. Snipping tools and other technology now challenge those teachers to step up their format and content for spreading their knowledge more efficiently and effectively.

Here are 5 things you’re going to need:

  1. Video-calling. Skype helps users communicate through the Internet. It has dominated video-calling since its introduction. And, with “Skype for the Classroom” and “Mystery Skype,” you can bring organization and engagement to any class.

But, more teachers are finding options. Google Hangouts can bring 10 people into a conversation or video-call on PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Other choices include Appear.In and Talky which may be the easiest to use as they require no registration, download, or payment.

  1. Project Management. Any teacher has a lot to juggle. Any course has projects within projects, course plans, class plans, and classroom management. SmartBuilder is the kind of tool that makes that easier for teacher and student creating tasks and progress charts for groups and individuals.

Other Learning Management Systems (LMS) for education include Schoology, Moodle, and Google Classroom. Many online education providers require use of the Blackboard, free for use as the others.

  1. Snipping Tools. A snipping tool is a screenshot utility that Windows and Apple built into their platforms. Using their snipping tools, you can copy some or all of a screen and insert it elsewhere in a document, spreadsheet, or slide program.

But, the CloudApp snipping tool has increased the power and capabilities. It works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Chrome. It’s a cut-and-paste tool, too, but it does more. You can record webcam videos and, then, insert or embed them.

  1. Video Content. Video communication has engaging and lasting educational benefits. Students voice their need and preference for video instruction. So, YouTube has become the go-to tool for letting you make your own videos or set up playlists for students to follow.

Animoto, Go Animate, and TedEd are great options. And, you should never underestimate the power of Kahn Academy videos.

  1. Storyboarding. It might depend on your classroom age group or the course purpose, but humor is an asset. With animation and cartoon approaches, you can create engaging visuals and lighten your content.

Comic Life, Pixton, PowToon, Bitstrips, Make Beliefs Comix, and Storybird are popular choices. But, ToonDo, Lomics, Chogger, and StripGenerator are free.

Spreading the knowledge

Teachers are committed to being effective, but it takes work. Online teaching offers great opportunities to students, but it challenges educators to optimize the technology available. As the NEA (National Education Association) says, “In online courses, the curriculum, the teacher’s daily lesson plans, the interaction in the classroom, are all on display, available for capture and replication.”

This open-source twist on classic education makes some work easier for educators, but it also presses them to exploit available tools, listen to their students, and share their work and results with colleagues.

 

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