Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Along

About two weeks have passed since I made this goal of flipping my Calculus classroom. We needed to acquire some new hardware and software, and then of course we needed everything to connect together. Let us just say, things were not getting along for a while. My old computer did not like Camtasia, and while my new computer did like Camtasia-as did I- my smartboard did not like my new computer. With the efforts and time of our great technology crew here, all things are getting along now, and I am up and running.

The hardware I am using includes a Starboard smartboard, my new computer with a larger processor, and a Flipvideo camera. I use PowerPoints to structure my presentations and then the program Camtasia to edit and produce the lessons.
I have done three sections so far using the flipped classroom approach. The conditions up until this point were not the best for creating these flipped videos. If anyone views my videos at ,  I blame the shaky and blurry footage on my inexperienced and incompetent camera lady (me). She is still working on her skills and techniques for making videos, but I can promise you she is improving.
 I will say I am not proud of the products I have created so far. They will NOT be the videos I would use again if/when I do this for next year. They are in no means the polished, clever, perfect productions I envisioned. I was using an older computer and a trial run of Camtasia at the time.

I do want to put it out there that flipping a classroom is not an easy task. The time it takes has been a lot more that I had thought it would be. Youtube does limit videos to under 15 minutes for users like me. At first I thought this was something I needed to try to conquer, but I do think a 15 minute video of vocabulary and concepts and a 15 minute video on working out examples is a good structure for my kids. They appreciate the efficient and not too talky videos. Ironically, but not surprisingly when you think about it, it takes a lot more time to make a shorter video.
Another thing I am finding is that to keep my students engaged, it takes a whole different style and technique to teach through a video medium- especially right now since my creations are very “monomedium.”  I would compare it to writing effective essays versus giving effective speeches; these mediums are received differently and so they need to be delivered differently. I am still working on finding how to deliver videos that will be effective and not just boring and hard for my students to learn from. I do know I need to work on bringing in more resources/mediums. I also need to work on bringing in conceptual thinking and UbD techniques.

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