I do not have much experience with screencasting. I had on occasion viewed videos that helped me follow a process that I needed to learn. I saw these videos on youtube and never expected that I could join the club of people who teach someone else through a video. I actually had no idea it was so easy to make a video, much less that I would be able to make one. I am not very technologically advanced, but I felt like a professional once I was done with my video. So far I have really enjoyed working with Snag It, it is pretty easy to use and I keep thinking of different ways that I could possibly use these videos with my students.
The first thing that I thought of that I could use screencasting for in my classroom is for students who are absent. At the school I work with many students are in sports and they have early outs a few times a week. These students are missing my classes and start falling behind. They usually need to stay after school or come in at lunch so that they can catch up on what they have missed. Making screencasts of the lessons that I teach would be a great way for those students to keep up with missed classes. I am not sure how I feel about making those videos available to all students though. I get these weird feelings that if I make those videos available to all students then half of the students that are in class will dose of or think that they don’t have to pay attention to me because they will be able to just see the video later.
As I was doing some more research on screencasting I came across a great website about screencasting. Here is a link to that website, http://www.schrockguide.net/screencasting.html. This website includes many links to everything related to screencasting and teaching. I ran into an article on this website that made me change my thinking about how to use screencasting in my classroom. Here is a link to that article, http://digitaldollar.edublogs.org/2011/02/28/reverse-and-improve-your-instruction-with-screencasts-lecture-at-home-practice-at-school/ . This article described a way that a chemistry teacher uses screencasting on a daily basis to his students by assigning them to watch the videos for homework. Then he didn’t have to spend the time in class trying to lecture and wonder if the students were catching all of it. I loved this idea because the students can pause or rewatch anything in the video that they did not fully understand. Then I could spend the time in class actually working on practice problems that will really help me see whether the student has grasped the material or not.
This is what people are calling the flipped classroom, where students watch the lecture at home and come to school with questions and get to spend the time practicing what they have just learned.
Another way I could use screencasting in my classroom would be to have students create a screencast video to teach the rest of the class a topic. Students learn really well from each other and they usually do a good job in trying to explain the process the best they can so we can use those videos for them to teach the entire class as opposed to just the person next to them.