A New Way of Providing Feedback to Your Students

23 02 2009

“Screen capture software” allows you to record the screen of your computer as if you had a video camera pointed at it. Everything you do on the screen is recorded and can be played back as a video, and if you have a microphone connected to your computer your voice will also be recorded.

This piece of software has been mostly used for IT training purposes, as for example; teaching how to animate objects in PowerPoint (PPT). Trainers simply turn on their screen capture software, begin actually to create the animation in PPT and comment on what they are doing, adding notes and call outs. The video is then saved and trainees play it back, listen and watch how to animate objects and jump from the training video to actually creating an animation themselves.

Russell Stannard, principal lecturer and Course Team leader in Multimedia /ICT at the University of Westminster, realised that  “Screen capture software” could be used as an innovative way of providing feedback to students on their written work. This method is leading to a substantial interest in the academic world. THES and Guardian have already written articles about it. Many lecturers and teachers have started using this method.

This new method is really simple and basically works like this: Your students send you their written work as Word files (or other formats), you open their work on your computer, highlight mistakes or aspects you want to bring up, turn on screen capture software and start recording yourself correcting and marking your students’ work.  Once you finish recording, send the video to the students. The learners are able to listen and watch as you talk about their work. You can also tell your students to watch and re-do their assignments according to your feedback recorded on the video.

The key factors that drew Russell Stannard to this idea of  “live video feedback” were:

  • Offers a solution to the issues around face to face contact
  • Students normally don’t understand the feedback we give them and they are unllikely to do more than quickly look over it. Video feedback provides visual and oral information and helps the learners to overcome any misunderstandings
  • Gets students more involved with the writing process. A teacher can point out problems and suggest alternatives, and learners can use the video to write up a better essay
  • Combination of  the video and audio leads to a “deeper learning”

Click here to read more about the case study and watch some screencasts.

If you want to try this new method with your groups, you can get screen recorders by googling “Screen capture software”, or you can download free software, such as Camstudio or Jing.

Drop us an email if you need a hand.

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16 02 2009

 

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Google Earth – “The World’s Geographic Information at Your Fingertips”

10 02 2009

 

 

 

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I am sure that most of you know that one can fly anywhere on Earth on Google Earth. You can view sattelite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean, you can explore rich geographical and Historical content, save record your tour and share it with others.

Google Earth is a fun Skills For Life resource, supporting Literacy and Numeracy skills development.

 

There are loads of different things you can do with your class using Google Earth, such as viewing a satellite picture of your chosen location by typing in an address; searching for colleges, museums, parks, restaurants, hotels; getting and giving directions; tilting and rotating to see 3D terrain and buildings; measuring shapes, space and distance; reading and writing descriptions of places; and also reading and printing out driving directions.

 

Google Earth is free and no registration is required. Visit  http://earth.google.com/ to download and install Google.

 





Create your Interactive Games

3 02 2009
Click here to go to what2learn.com

Click here to go to what2learn.com

Play the game on EZone

Play the game on EZone

What2learn is an innovative and exceptional eductional tool which develops and tests learners knowledge in a fun and interactive way.  Loads of effective and envolving learning games will drill your students in essential knowledge. their attainment will be automatically calculated and recorded.

The games work brilliantly on the interactive whiteboard for the whole group or on EZone, so they can have a go individually.

If you want to use the games that were already created, all you have to do is to search for games, select the tag you are looking for, such as Art, Design Technology, English, French, Spanish, German, Film, History, ICT, Mathematics, Music, etc, and then just click on the game.

As a teacher you can prepare resources to support the delivery of your subject, create a range of games related to the scheme of work you are teaching. These games can be used as starter or revision tasks. To create your own games click on “Make a Game”, choose the type of game ( Hangman, question and answer, wordsearch, anagram and multiple-choice), hit the highlighted game’s name, enter the content in the adequate boxes, add a tag to your quiz and confirm the questions. To share the game you can send it via email or social web or you can copy the embed code on the right handside of the web site, paste the code to a web page on Ezone, save it and it’s ready to play.

Let me know if you need a hand.





Skills For Life Network

3 02 2009
Click here to visit SFLN

Click here to visit SFLN

Skills for Life Network (SFLN) is a website you should register asap. It keeps you up to date with what is going on in the Skills For Life (SFL) area. You will get e-news every fortnight direct to your inbox, all the SFL news, developments, events, jobs and resources. The SFLN brings together need-to-know information from a wide range of sources that saves you precious time!

The membership is FREE. SFLN covers the full range of SFL specialisms and related areas, such as Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL, Key Skills, Functional Skills, Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficuties, Learning Disabilities, ICT, E-learning, SFL Teacher Training, Research and Strategy.

Don’t miss this! Let us know your thoughts and if you need any further help or info.