After engaging fully enough in the tumult that is teaching and learning, teachers often come to find that they care much less what students know and much more what students can do. It is the development of essential skills that best defines students’ potential for success.
Thus, a natural conclusion is that the same teachers want students to spend less time showing what they know and more time showing what they can do.
This strategy is one highly flexible method of doing just that in just about any subject area or grade level.
Literacy and Numeracy
A few simple yet powerful strategies for utilizing Screencasting in such a manner involve basic practice in literacy and numeracy.
Students are able to record either their screen or their webcam to produce a video that shows them (1) reading a passage, (2) writing a sample, or (3) solving a problem. While recording, they are also able to explain their thinking (especially for writing and solving).
The process is simple: students launch Screencastify (or a similar screencasting app/extension), hit record, open the app or camera, and perform the task while recording. Once the task is complete, students can preview the video, re-record if needed, and share with simple link via the class LMS.
(Lower-elementary teachers: some apps do all of these things at once. Check out Seesaw for such uses with younger students or tablet devices.)
Similar to the above process, students can engage in any kind of task on a different level, including science. One example would be to have students document a process. After completing an experiment, students take photos or videos of the end results/ongoing process and explain what they are doing, why they are doing it, and whether they are achieving the desired outcome.
These recording can be easily shared for others to view which allows students to check their progress or give and receive feedback on a whole new level.
So often, teachers feel the need to create all the lesson materials themselves, but with these kinds of strategies, students are very much capable of creating lessons themselves. Allow students to create presentations about topics, record those presentations, then share them as instructional materials for the whole class.
(The teacher can then very easily pirate the highest quality lessons for future instructional use/support, as well!)
What’s the Point?
The ability to capture the learning process in more fullness opens the door to so many other uses and implications. Teachers could even require students to screencast while they are taking tests/quizzes online and explain their choices. Such data informs teachers more potently, and such activities stretch students more dynamically.