Saturday, October 31, 2015

How to....videos, the best way to

If you are a teacher, you value your time and EFFICIENCY is one of your best friend! With this in mind, in the years I have been teaching online I have learned that "How to...." videos are you secret weapon! Something else that I have learned is that their placement int he course is very critical. If they are placed strategically in the e-course, most of the time they will allow students to find an answer right when their question rises, and save teacher from replying to numerous similar emails on the same topic.
Yes, I have learned this the hard way.... and I share my experience so that you will not have to do the same.

Today whenever I receive 2 emails asking explanation about the same topic, I go ahead and either look or make an "how to..." video. This year with the change of LMS I had to redo some of my videos, while I have found great resources on the Canvas Help website. The only problem though was that the videos were hosted on Vimeo, and our district blocks it, so I had to move them to YouTube and doing so I have crated a playlist with all of them that I can share with students.
You can access to my play list at this URL: Mrs. Pokryfki Courses - Guides and How to...

I have created specific videos for guiding showing student how to type accented letters and how to deal with some tech issues such as when their headset is not recognized. What I use for making these videos is Camtasia, a pretty good video editing software, a little spendy though. If you want to try a free tool you can use Screencast-o-matic. You can have some more features and tools using the paying version, which is still a  fraction of the cost of a more advanced tool, such as Camtasia. I have used Screencast-o-matic especially when I want a podcast done on the fly. Also being a web based tool, I can use it from any computer, as long as I have a webcam.

Another tool I am using for making videos is GoAnimated. This tool allows you to created animated cartoons and you can either record your voice or use computer generated voices for having your characters speaking. What is pretty cool is that you can also have the speech done in several languages, male and female voices. I have used GoAnimated for creating stories and instructional videos as well. I really like this tool for the many options you have for presenting concepts in a fun and engaging way.

The last tool I would like to share with you is VoiceThread . My best way to explain what this tool does is "PowerPoint on steroids!" Basically you can create a slide show of still images or of videos, add your voice and test, and students can comment vocally or in a written way to each slide.
I use this tool a lot in my language courses for creating interactive activities in which I ask questions and students reply to me in the target language, allowing asynchronous interaction with students.

Both GoAnimated and VoiceThread can be easily embedded in your LMS. I have used on Moodle as well as on Canvas.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog! GoAnimated and VoiceThread sound intriguing, and I must check them out. I love getting tips and tricks from other teachers. I also love the idea that students can verbally respond to a slide. This sounds like an engaging way to involve students. I used to use xtranormal to create animated tutorials for my students. However, that source closed up. GoAnimated sounds similiar to xtranormal. As I said, I can't wait to check both out.