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Screencast Assessment- It’s a Small World Afterall November 15, 2007

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology, screencast.

For those who have reading my blog entries, you will know that I have been exploring video production with my students for summative and formative assessment. To read my former entries about screencasting CLICK HERE and scroll down through the entries. The first one is at the bottom.

I think the power of the Internet and Web 2.0 is in many ways exemplified in the video here. One of my male students has made a trip to India with his family over the holiday break. He left a few days before the trimester was over so he had to complete one of our assignments. In this case it was a formative assessment, and I asked the students to create screencasts describing how to balance a chemical reaction. Note that these are 12-13 year old students. We had just completed an exciting chemical reaction experiment and the students simply loved it (mini explosions, lighting matches, sodium/water reactions, etc).

This morning I received my male student’s screencast describing how to balance a chemical reaction. I remind you that he is in India. He sent it to me via e-mail as he is carrying his tablet computer with him in India and likely found an Internet cafe to send his file to me. You will hear a bit of clicking in the video as he did not have a external mic with him. I don’t care… I am proud of him. His learning environment is 1/2 way across the world at this point.

CLICK HERE FOR HIS VIDEO or on the image above!

Please comment and let me know what you think of this means to determine knowledge and understanding.


Great New Tools for Screencasting…Video in the Classroom October 28, 2007

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology, screencast.
1 comment so far


I’ve been exploring some new tools in my classroom with my students with amazing results. The technology is called “screencasting” and basically the tools capture the movements of the mouse on the screen along with the images (websites, drawings, etc.) on the computer screen. While this occurs, a student’s (or teacher’s) comments are captured through the microphone of the computer or through a inexpensive microphone plugged into the microphone jack on the computer (a $7 microphone produces much better sound quality).

The end result is a video that can be used to demonstrate a topic, explain a website, analyze a concept through a applet, etc. I have used screencasting for my own purposes for my students for several years now as they can be used as a very effective teaching tool, especially if one incorporates questions or requires students to produce a product through the video. In my mind, the interactivity portion is often missing in the screencasts that are currently being developed by instructors as they are a time-shifting resource. This means that they can be viewed at any time and can be paused. This allows students to work at their own pace and also allows for instructors to ask the students to reflect, write, produce, etc. a product while watching or pausing the video.

My former blog entry included a screencast from a student in one of my classes. I am finding it to be an incredible tool as I seek to formatively and/or summatively assess my students in a Web 2.0 world. Moreover, THEY LOVE PRODUCING VIDEOS! Like anything, it is not a tool for all occasions, but it is a powerhouse in terms of revealing true knowledge.

Here is include a short screencast to demonstrate how I might use Jing in my science class with my 7th graders. Click on the image below…


To create a screencast on your mac or PC you have multiple options for software. You can use online resources or stand alone software on your PC.

Mac Options for Stand Alone Software: IShowU (very inexpensive) or Snapz Pro X for use along with the free iMovie or a higher end video editor like Final Cut Pro

PC Options for Stand Alone Software: the killer application of the screencast world- Camtasia, Camstudio (Open source and Free), or Windows Media Encoder (Free with Win OSs) for use for Windows Movie Maker or a higher end video editor like Adobe Premiere Elements).

Mac and PC options that are Internet based: Screencast-o-Matic

A new free application at the moment form the makers of Camtasia, and it is cross platform: Jing!

Let’s generate some conversation about how this can be used as a value added assessment or project tool…

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words….How Much is a Video Worth? September 14, 2007

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology, screencast.


Image: Galileo’s Original Work Regarding Projectile Motion (Public Domain)

I have been contemplating this blog entry for a couple of weeks now. The statement “a picture is worth a thousand words” has started to take new meaning for me in the framework of a 21st Century teaching pedagogy.I have been making videos for my students for a year or so, but one day this last week I tried something different. I showed the students how to create a screencast ( a video which creates a picture of what they draw and say on their computers) using Windows Media Encoder. I then posed a question after a hands-on experiment regarding projectile motion and several online simulations regarding projectile motion: ” Is there any angle that results in the greatest range when shooting a projectile and if so, why?” Students had 30 minutes to create a 3-4 minute video describing their thoughts. The student products were astounding (and not because they are worthy of Academy Awards :-).Through these videos, I have more insight regarding the true essence of their understanding than I could have ever gathered by giving them a standardized test, worksheet, quiz, or lab report. I found out what they REALLY understood and misunderstood. It has forever changed my thoughts about assessment. So I ask my readers this question: – Using a 21st Century teaching and learning pedagogy, how do we really assess student learning? I am a scientist by training. I collect data….10/12 correct; 90/100 on the rubric; etc. Yet, when I watch these videos… I know who knows… I know who is just spitting back the answers. I can see that the LD student that scored a 65 on our standardized test clearly understands more than his 65 indicates. Another scary thought- I know that it is what this student will produce on his future high stakes written assessments that will undoubtedly place him into categories that may ultimately determine his pathway in life.A picture says a thousand words… How much is a video worth?Here is a video produced by one of “my boys”. He is 11. He struggles with some things. I like his video… CLICK HERE or on the picture below.