Friday, January 19, 2018

Screencasting PowerPoints for Input

Screencasts are a great use of instructional technology in the classroom, because they allow for users to record a digital narration of what is on their computer screens. Screencasts can be used in so many different ways: teachers can implement them as part of a flipped classroom or as tutorials, students can create screencast presentations for a digital audience instead of the traditional face-to-face classroom, lessons can be recorded and posted online. Like podcasts, screencasts allow for an audience to view the material wherever it wants, whenever it wants and as many times as it wants. Because of this, when used properly, screencasts rate high on the SAMR model of technology usage.

Screencasts can be used in a CI classroom to deliver input, as well as a way for students to deliver output in a presentational mode. Last semester, I had students create 30-second screencasts in Latin of a picture using their phones (I will post about that some time), which I found to be quite successful, considering it was my first time doing something like that with them. Although the end product was quite basic and rudimentary, I see that there is much which can be done with screencasts.

Just recently, my colleague Bob Patrick showed me how PowerPoint has a screencast function. One can record either a slide presentation or individual slides with narration. Why I like this is because before when I wanted to screencast a slide presentation, I would have to app-smash a PowerPoint/Google Slides with Screencastify or Screencast-O-Matic. Now, everything can be done with one program. I was completely unaware that PowerPoint even had this function.

Here are directions about how to screencast using PowerPoint.

My Latin 2 classes are beginning a unit on the hero Perseus, so I introduced the first part of the story with a very basic dictatio.

Perseus, Prima Pars Dictatio
1) Perseus in insulā cum matre habitavit.
2) Rex volēbat facere matrem Perseī coniugem, sed Perseus regem odit.
3) Rex Perseum odit, et volēbat occidere Perseum.
4) Rex Perseō dixit, “Fer mihi caput Medusae!”
5) Medusa erat monstrum, cuius obtutus mutavit hominēs in saxum.

Immediately following the dictatio, I projected the screencast of my PowerPoint, which had the dictatio sentences. I added 4-5 more sentences to the story using known vocabulary to expand the story.

I had students view/listen to it twice and then asked comprehension questions in English to establish meaning.

An extension of this screencast would be to show this video again and to pause it to ask questions in Latin or to create an EdPuzzle with this video.

  1. Because students had just completed a dictatio which incorporated those sentences, the screencast was very comprehensible for them. Students were already familiar with the plot and many of the new words.
  2. Adding new sentences in the screencast with known vocabulary/structures to the already-familiar dictatio sentences gave an embedded reading feel to the video.
  3. Because students were able to read along with the text as it was narrated aloud, it gave them double input.
  4. Although this is a basic PowerPoint, this gives me a foundation for what can be done for future screencasts with animations and illustrations.
  5. Apparently, my voice sounds much lower on this video. My students were surprised to hear what I sounded like.
  6. My students want me to post this on YouTube. Outside of those who read this blog, however, I do not need the world to comment on what it finds wrong with this screencast (pronunciation issues, voice inflection choices, etc).

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