Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #130

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2zWRPPw The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Friday, 10 November 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #119

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/w49SJB. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Screencasting with Screencast-o-Matic - a superb tool for making classroom videos

Submitted by Fiona Beal
My favourite screencasting tool, right now, is Screencast-O-Matic. Screencast-O-matic is a free, online tool to use if you want to quickly show someone how to do something on the computer. It easily creates a video of what you are doing and saying. These videos are called screencasts. If you want to create good screencasts without the hassle of downloading and installing any application on your computer then Screencast-O-Matic is the best available tool for the purpose. Screencasts are great to use in the flipped classroom.


I have written about Screencast-O-matic before, but as time has passed this application has some great new features that are well worth mentioning. It allows you to create up to 15 minute videos free of charge. 15 minutes is a long video. Mostly you will want to stick to 2 - 3 minute videos.

Get started with Screencast-o-matic
To summarise:
  1. Screencast-O-Matic is a free, online screen capture tool. 
  2. It has a free version (up to 15 mins video) and a paid Pro version
  3. You can use Screencast-O-matic to record narrated presentations or demonstrations and produce the recordings as videos for your classroom
  4. Screencast-o-matic can also be downloaded to your device and used offline.
  5. Navigate to http://www.screencast-o-matic.com to find Screencast-o-matic.
This video tutorial 'Screencast-O-Matic 2017 Tutorial' https://goo.gl/2YYNQL is excellent and it gives a step-by-step instruction on getting started with and using this great application.



Some of the great new features
There are a number of great new features some of which have tutorials

I want to mention four other features that have caught my attention.
 
1. Add a video of yourself presenting
You can now add a video insert of yourself presenting your screencast. You would do this by using the webcam and the screen at the same time.


2. Stock Music is now available with Screencast-O-Matic
You can now add stock music tracks to your recording directly from the Recorder. After you complete a recording, click the music icon to the right of the timeline to preview each track and then add music to your video.
With the Free Recorder, after you finish your recording Screencast-O-Matic will present you with a rotating selection of tracks for you to add to your recording. It’s easy to preview each track and then pick the one which suits your video best. Once selected, Screencast-O-Matic automatically adds ducking to the music, reducing the volume if you have recorded narration. Music will be automatically looped until the recording is finished.

With Pro Recorder you get access to all tracks and the option to add your own music. You can also use the Video Editor to adjust audio settings. Increase or decrease volume, set timing for fade in/out of music, normalizing sound tracks but using ducking and setting audio levels between music and narration and turn, looping on/off.

Screencast-O-Matics has some great tutorials where you can learn more about adding stock music:

3. Add Rich Text Annotations, Titles and callouts to your Videos
Many times your videos need additional visual aids to highlight a point. When you are narrating an explanation, having text annotations can help add important context.


4. Quickly share your published videos to Facebook, Twitter, Google Classroom and email directly from the Screen Recorder
You can now quickly share videos directly from the Recorder. As always, you can review your recording before publishing to ensure that it’s ready to share. Share options appear in the Recorder when your video is published so you can instantly share with friends or community. Teachers will love the fact that you can share your videos directly to Google Classroom.


How you can use Screencast-O-Matic in your classroom
The classroom possibilities for this tool are endless:
  1. Provide instruction for absent students and making a class video 
  2. Enhance your lessons by adding a screencast to explain a concept. You can make quick videos about anything really. 
  3. You can simply upload the file on YouTube or another platform and share the link with your students. 
  4. You can record lessons, provide demonstrations, present information to an online class, tell digital stories, and give feedback on student assignments.
  5. You can also create assignments that require students to produce a screencast. Because of its ease of use, Screencast-o-matic requires little or no training to get started.
  6. You can use captions with Screencast-o-matic 
  7. You can incorporate Screencast-O-Matic videos into Google classroom.
  8. In 1:1 environments your students can create videos  to explain their thinking using Screencast-O-Matic.
A fabulous tool, don’t you agree? Why not try it!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #129

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at http://bit.ly/2zOsLdq. The link to the back-dated posts is: http://bit.ly/1GVLTUZ


Friday, 3 November 2017

Useful Google in Education posts this week #118

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers https://goo.gl/vJGdcV. (The link to previous posts can be found here https://goo.gl/CNO3M2)