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Screenr: Instant Web-based Screencasts

What it is: Have you tried to type the following into Google: “school makes me”?  If you haven’t, it is a sobering reminder of the state of education as perceived by students and society.  I started Anastasis Academy to change this reality for students.  My hope is that one day soon, the automatic suggestions that Google pulls are overwhelmingly positive.  Last week, I asked students at Anastasis Academy to finish the statement “school makes me…”  I didn’t prompt them or give them any additional details about how I would be using it.  The answers that we got are in the video above.  Pretty cool to see how even one year of freedom in learning leads to different perspectives.  I can assure you, these are not the words most students would have used about school prior to coming to Anastasis Academy.  In fact, in full disclosure, we have 2 students that are new to Anastasis.  They started only a few months ago.  They finished the statement with “bored” and “tired.”  *sigh* This was a sad moment for me.  I want more for these boys.  Later in the day they both happened to be hanging with me in the office for a few minutes.  One of the boys asked me why I had asked the question.  I showed them what happens when you type the words into Google.  “Oh, that is really depressing. So why did you ask us?”  I told them that I cared about what they thought because if there was something we could do differently as a school, we would do it.  Both boys asked if they could change their answers, “we were thinking school in general…this place isn’t really like that.”  There were no GRAND statements of how much they loved it and we are changing their world…give it time! To create the video above, I needed to screen capture my Google experience.  I’ve long been a fan of Screenium but for some reason, it has decided to throw in the towel and is not interested in recording anything but audio.  Frustrating.  So, I set out to see if I could find an online screencast recorder that I could use.  Jackpot!  I found Screenr and it is my new go-to for screencasting. Screener is a web-based screen recorder that makes it really easy to create and share screencasts.  There is nothing to install or download (always a plus!), you can record on a Mac or PC, the video plays on all devices, and it is totally FREE!  Just click the record button, capture your screen and voice (if you want) and then share the link or download the video to use in other programs.  I downloaded my finished screencast so that I could make a little video in Keynote with our words. How to integrate Screenr into the classroom:  Screenr is a fantastically simple tool that allows teachers to create detailed screencast instructions in minutes.  This free-to-use application can capture video of anything that is on your computer screen.  Audio can be included (or not) for any screencast.  The resulting video can be embedded on a webpage or blog, sent to students via email, or downloaded.  Screencasting is a great way to teach students how to use e-Learning tools or how to complete any computer assignment.  When I taught in the technology lab, there was never enough of me to go around.  Screencasting made SUCH a difference in how I spent my time with students!  Students could self direct learning, or remind themselves of that one step they forgot.  Instead of waiting for me to be available, students could keep working and my time was spent working to help students make connections in learning instead of just on answering process questions. Screenr would be useful for students who want to share something new they learned.  Have a student who is JAZZED about coding?  Let them show off that passion by creating tutorial videos for other students.  Anything that is computer based and could use some explanation is perfect for Screenr.  Because you can embed videos, you can share them on a class blog or website.  If you tag your videos and posts, it will be easy for students to quickly search and find what they need as they work. Screenr can be used for more than just tutorials.  Remember this video?  This is such a cool, creative use of a screencast.  Students could similarly show off their learning through screencasts of various programs on their computer.  Just takes a little inspiration and creative thinking! Tips: There is a pro version of Screenr, I’ve found the free version to meet all of my needs for school/classroom use. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Screenr in your classroom.

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Moon in Google Earth

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips | Posted on 20-07-2009

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What it is: Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission.  I have been following the moon landing on We Choose the Moon.  This is an incredible site that has allowed me to re-live (for the first time) the Apollo 11 mission as if it were happening today.  In honor of this historic day, Google released Google Earth 5.0 complete with Moon view.  With Moon in Google Earth you and your students can take tours of landing sites narrated by Apollo astronauts, view 3-D models of landed spacecraft, zoom into 360* photos of astronauts footprints, and watch rare TV footage of the Apollo missions.

How to integrate Moon in Google Earth into the classroom: Now that the moon has made an appearance in Google Earth, your students can experience the moon and Apollo missions up close and personal.  Space, astronauts, Apollo missions, and the moon were the stuff of legends before the space race took off.  Moon in Google Earth brings back the excitement of the space race allowing students to explore and discover.  This is an excellent virtual field trip to take your students on during any space or moon unit.  Use an interactive whiteboard to discover as a class.  Students can take turns being moon tour guides.  Students could also explore independently keeping their discoveries in a space journal and reporting back to others what they discovered on their journey to the moon.

Tips: Google Earth is a download.  If you need IT to perform downloads for you, be sure that Google Earth makes it on your list of must haves for the school year.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Moon in Google Earth in your classroom.Moon in Google Earth

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