It has been a really long time since I last Blogged! I had set a goal for myself to document the process of building a Maker space from scratch. I am very proud to say that I did build that Maker space and I did share with the world how it went, but sadly soon the idea of Blogging fell to the wayside.
Well I am back on it today as I am currently working through my ISTE Certification and one of the assignments is to Blog about a digital tool that helps both students and/or teachers in our ever evolving Digital Learning Environments.
I have decided to share one of my favorite tools for the digital classroom called Screencast-o-Matic!
Pricing Options: https://screencast-o-matic.com/plans
- Free vs Deluxe vs Premiere Options
How would I model Screencast-o-Matic for colleagues?
- I create videos all the time using Screencast-O-Matic for both my students and fellow teachers. Therefore, those that I currently work with are familiar with the tool. However, they might not know what the tool is called or how it works, but they have at least been introduced to it. Therefore, I would refer back to the most recent video that I created for them. I would ask them to recall that video, maybe even play part of it for them, and then discuss with them what I used to create the video and maybe even a short demo of how I created it.
Recently, Signup Genius updated their site. Signup Genius is the website our staff members use to have parents sign up for conference times. There was a mini panic felt by many that they didn't know how to create their conference sign up forms. I quickly jumped on Screencast-o-Matic and created this How To video Click HERE to watch the video.
Here is another recent example of a video for young students using Google Docs for the first time. They were learning how to highlight and change the font color of text.
How would I investigate Screencast-o-Matic collaboratively with students?
- As I like to do with all new technology tools in my room, my students take part in a “Play Day” with the tool. Play Days consist of a period or two where the students have a chance to try out the tool in a very non threatening non pressure environment. They usually get to create whatever they want with the tool. I would follow up this specific Play Day with a discussion about the tool. A goal would be for the open discussion to hit on a few of the following questions:
- What did you like about Screencast-o-Matic?
- What did you not like about Screencast-o-Matic?
- How could our class use Screencast-o-Matic?
- How could you use Screencast-o-Matic in your other classes?
- How could Screencast-o-Matic help you be a better student?
How might I use Screencast-o-Matic to promote digital citizenship OR empower student learning?
- Screencast-o-matic can definitely support good digital citizenship and empower student learning at the same time. Students can create help videos or how to videos that they can share with other students in their classroom or throughout the world. Students can post these help videos and therefore open up dialogue between classmates.
How might Screencast-o-Matic transform my work with colleagues and/or students?
- Screencast-o-matic has dramatically changed the way I disseminate information to my students. Instead of the whole group direct instruction method that I used for so many years I am now engaging in students learning individually and at their own pace. These videos allow for students to revisit or review material as many times as needed while other students are able to move onto different lessons. I no longer feel as if I am holding students back. Before I felt as if my high level thinkers were always waiting and bored because they caught on so much quicker than their classmates. Now these students are able to move along and apply their knowledge in deeper and more meaningful ways. At the same time you could tell that my lower students felt bad about having to have things repeated for them. Often they wouldn’t ask questions or ask me to repeat information. This way they have a safe space to review all content as many times as they need without any pressure from anyone around them.
Which ISTE Standard(s) might be met by the use of Screencast-o-Matic?
- Leader 2a: Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
- Designer 5a: Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
- Facilitator 6a and 6: Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on maker spaces or in the field.
- Empowered Learned 1a: Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
- Global Communicator 7a and 7c: Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
Since our last meeting with Bit Space I spent time recruiting eighth grade students that wanted to spend their weekend helping me build all the furniture for our new space.
In the end I had over 20 staff members, students, and their parents that were willing to donate their time to this project. We also had three gentleman from Bit Space that trained us how to use all of the tools.
We partnered with a wonderful company called Bit Space to help us design and build furniture for our Maker Space.
Our initial meeting was a brainstorming meeting. We spent the time going over the space and discussing how to best utilize the area we had. Bit Space took lots of measurements and shared some wonderful ideas on how to finish off this space.
During our second meeting Bit Space brought with them some beautiful renderings. These pictures included our space with different furniture layouts. They went over the various ideas and we came to a consensus of what would work best.
Our third meeting involved their final renderings of the space and the plan of how to make this happen.
The project began in the summer of 2016. It is time to reflect back to see how far we have come in just six months.
Now that everything was purchased, picked up, and in the room it was time for our wonderful volunteers to begin installing the flooring. We had three gentleman donate their time, energy, and expertise to this project. They worked so efficiently and finished the job in about three days. The final product was beautiful.
My husband and I headed to the burbs on a snowy December Sunday morning to look at flooring. We ended up at Floor and Decor in Skokie. I found myself traveling up and down the rows touching each and every sample. I was looking for something that was smooth and could easily be cleaned. The number of options left my head spinning. I ended up speaking with one of their employees to help me narrow down my choices. Candy was amazing, she helped me pick something that was on sale, good for classroom use, and waterproof! Thirty minutes later I was on my way out the door with exactly what I wanted and how much it would cost to finish our room.
On Monday morning I showed my principal what I found and how much it would cost. He was happy with the choice and told me that I could move forward.
The following weekend I headed back to Floor and Decor and made my purchase. If I was to do it again, I would have called ahead and pre-ordered everything. I was able to pick up all the flooring, however, I had to order the stair nose and corner round for the two stairs we have in the room. Sadly they told me it would take about two or three weeks for that to arrive. I could have it shipped to school, but I decided to save the money and pick it up myself.
A couple weeks passed and the stair nose and corner round were ready for pickup. I made my third and final trip to Floor and Decor to pick up the last of the flooring. It was the week before Winter Break and all supplies were in school ready to go for January when the floor would be installed.
Call and they will give!
Two parents were not afraid of the word No! They made calls to various paint companies to see what they were willing to donate to our school. We ended up getting FREE paint for three different parts of the room.
Green Screen Paint and Dry Erase Paint:
A local hardware store donated the Green Screen paint and our lovely parent volunteers helped me get it painted!