“Jing”-le Bells (Mini Screencasts)

Today, I started work on a series of mini-screencasts to teach my students to use Edmodo, WordPress, and generic word processing/spreadsheet concepts.

I’ve already determined this MacBook internal mic isn’t going to cut it for bulk production-

I sound like I’m recording

in an airplane…. that’s in the air…. sitting in the back by the engines…. Anyhow, it’s ok for now. I find it take

s me 3-4 cuts to get the screencast down to the ‘under a minute’ goal.  I start out thinking I’m being concise, say extraneous things, then forget an important step.  It’s rather like my teaching right now- each of the three rounds in each grade level gets something a little more refined and streamlined.  ((Last week, we created cards for teachers for all 18 classes…. I had my talk down pat by the end of the week, and was entirely sick of it too!))  My students only have 30 minutes with me, a third of which is generally used entering, logging-in, waiting for the server, and exiting.  These must stay short.  I am using Jing, and embedding them into posts in Edmodo.  Then, I’m giving them a shared tag so they appear in the students Tags sidebar.

Here are a few examples:

Dog & Deer Discussion

In a recent collaboration session, Linda Abbott (@lindaalexabbott) shared this video.  She is asking her elementary students to create a dialogue about what the dog and deer might be say to each other during her Computer Lab.  I’ve added to that concept by asking my students to download a Word document, write the dialogue, and then upload it to the Edmodo assignment.  ((I’m trying to show students how to use Edmodo through some engaging assignments.  Goal of this lesson?  Learn to upload files.)) Don’t you just love it when educators share wonderful things they are doing in their classrooms?

For teachers who need an alternative to YouTube, this video can be found at http://www.wimp.com/oneball/ .

[gview file=”https://juliecunningham.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/yournamedogdeer1.doc”%5D

Super Special Snowflakes

[media-credit name=”Stock Xchng | http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1319900″ align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Last year, I did a mini-project with Kindergarteners prior to their Showcase night where they drew snowflakes, typed their name on the page, and printed them.  They were precious, and a neat winter wall decor item.  I talked with students briefly about how snowflakes are all special and unique…. just like them! ((Although, I learned today that conventional wisdom about ‘no identical snowflakes’ is not true. Check out the info here at Wolfram Science.))

This year, I’m sprucing up that project by showing a short BrainPOP video on Snowflakes and then sharing another video from University of Wisconsin-Madison on Computer Modeled Snowflakes. (I wish this video was embeddable, but it’s not. It’s worth the click!)

Rules of the game?

  • Use blue colors.
  • Keep the background white.
  • Type your name.
  • Print.

Results below.

I’m also downloading Wolfram’s MathematicaPlayer for my older students because it has an interesting snow growth simulation that I’d like to show to the older students.