Think Learning 15

ILT edition


Welcome to this edition of Think Learning. In this edition we will outline some of the ways technology can be used to enhance and extend the learning experience. If you want to follow up on any of these ideas or discuss other ways you can integrate technology into your teaching please see Paula Kilburn, Learning Technologies Development Manager.

Use of screencasting in education

What is it?

Screencasting in simple terms is the recording of the actions on your screen, generally accompanied by an audio narrative. In the past access to software to create screencasts involved paying for software and the time to learn the tools involved. Today this process is much easier. Screencasts can be created on a tablet device as well as on computers.

What can they be used for?

There are many uses of screencasts in education, traditionally these originally started as video demonstrations of software applications. For example, how to create reports in an access database, how to use layers in Photoshop. From there the use of screencasts has expanded to include narrated presentations, web tours and video feedback.

Screencasts can be both cost and time effective. If you have to demonstrate how to use a piece of software or have an important presentation which you want students to be able to review and think deeply on then providing access by way of a screencast could be the most effective way - "make once, play many". Students are able to review your video however many times they need allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the content, it is great for revision and could enable students to progress with practical work independently.

How to screencast.

To begin screencasting you will need access to head phones with a microphone and the software to cast your screen.

Software - we now have as part of our Planet eStream licences access to the eStream encoder app. This will allow you to record your screen and also to do a live stream broadcast. Headphones with mics and webcams are available from IT if needed. Watch out for training on using video to support learning in the staff development programme.

View the short screencast below to see how to download the encoder app from home. If you want this installing on your machine at College please submit a service desk request.

Install encoder from College Media Server

Further information

Click on the button below to go to Kathy Shrock's guide to Screencasting.

Using mobile devices in the classroom

The examples below are examples of how some of our staff have been using mobile technology to enhance, engage and support teaching and learning.

Ipads - fancy a go?

If you would like to explore the range of apps available to support your curriculum area or would like to have a go at creating your own content using a range of apps, contact Paula Kilburn to arrange for a loan of an Ipad. We have a small number which we can loan out to staff for up to a month - giving you an opportunity to see how you could integrate this technology into learning and teaching in your subject area.

VLE - did you know?

Assignment submission and feedback

We can now offer a dropbox type facility where your students can upload their work for marking and feedback. This can be set up in various ways depending on how you want it to work on your site, but essentially it consists of a shared folder where the student has "permissions" which allow them to upload documents. You can then edit the document using comments on word to provide feedback to the students. Whilst teachers on the site would see all student folders, the students would only see their own folder. Some of the advantages of using this facility are that you can see the date on which a piece of work was submitted, it frees up your email and would save on printing costs. We can also show you how you can set up alerts so you can get an email summary of when students are uploading their work. We will need some information from you before we can set this up so please speak to Paula or Wendy if this is something which interests you.

Student shared work/resources area

Similar to the assignment dropbox but this is a page where we would set up document, image and links libraries where your learners can share their work (e.g. examples of art work or sharing resources in teaching courses). The difference with this one is that students will see what others are posting in these areas.

Get your students to create revision resources or quizzes and share links to websites they have found particularly useful. This is a great way of building collaboration and gaining a collection of useful resources.

Discussion boards

Did you know that you can have discussion boards on the VLE? If you don't use Facebook groups then a discussion board could be a great way of engaging your students in discussions on topics relating to your area of study or you could use it as a way for them to ask questions on topics which they find difficult. Encourage students to answer each others questions and give peer support.

Again alerts can be set up on these so you will recieve an email when someone posts to the discussion enabling you to keep an eye on when things change. Items posted on the discussion board could then be discussed and further explored within face to face lessons. Discussion boards can be set up at unit level or whole site.

Embedding different types of media

The new VLE essentially provides you with a set of web pages where you can combine resources and media from a variety of places. This enables you to bring all your resources for a unit together. You can embed videos from the mediaserver, Youtube and Vimeo, slideshows and presentations from sites such as Prezi and Slideshare, collaborative spaces such as Padlet walls. You can add further context to these resources by typing explanations into your page.

Learning coach corner

The following information on enrichment opportunities has been submitted by Matt Wigmore.

Keyfund - If a student group would like to organise an educational visit or a trip of their choice they can submit a proposal to the Keyfund. The process is quite simple. The group would need to write a short proposal and then present their idea to a Keyfund representative. The group can get funds for one event up to £250. The Prince's Trust tutors have received funds up to £1,000 over the year. There is an initial payment of £190 for the year. As of yet we have not renewed our membership. If you feel your students might benefit from this opportunity contact Matthew Wigmore - 07969335538.

Go Fencing. This is an initiative that is delivered by Beth Davidson from 'Go Fencing'. Beth works with our student groups to teach them the sport of Fencing. The groups then deliver their new found skills to Primary School Children in the local area. Beth is keen to set up Fencing clubs across the North East. If you feel your students would benefit from this opportunity please contact Matthew Wigmore - 07969335538.

Cool tool for group consensus and decision making

Tricider is a great tool for idea sharing, promoting discussion and encourage debate. Students will be able to add positive and negative suggestions to back up or provide a counter argument to a statement. Students will be able to vote on each others ideas making it a great tool for coming to a group consensus on a topic. Best of all it is very easy to set up and use.
Brainstorming ideas with Tricider - Alastair
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