Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cloning Teachers

I'm sure I'm not the only teacher who laments that the school day is too short. We barely have enough time to teach all of our subjects (social studies? science?), much less enrich our students' learning with the arts, give them time to burn off some energy and work on social skills during recess. All day we're rushing as if we're late for the bus with "Quick, let's learn before the bell rings!" lessons. Add to this - the need to regularly assess learning and then use that information to differentiate instruction for groups of students, nay, individual students. How is there time for it all? I've always wished for more hours in our day... or a 3 or 4 clones of me to teach the kids. While the school day is something that is beyond my control, thankfully cloning myself is a possibility. Well... in a way. 
Ingredients for Cloning Yourself:
- MacBook Computer - price varies based on model
- Point 2 View Doc Cam - $69.99 on Amazon

1. Get your materials together, just as you would teach the actual lesson 
2. Plug in the Point 2 View doc cam into your computer and open the P2V included software (which will open a video window showing the images that your doc cam is capturing)
3. Open QuickTime Player
4. Go to "File" under QuickTime Player
5. Click on "New Screen Recording"
6. Make sure the recording volume is on
7. Click Record
8. Maximize the P2V video window
9. Begin to teach your lesson, recording your writing on a slate, walking students through a math journal page, modeling a science experiment, editing a paper, a shared reading of a text, or whatever your students may need!
10. Press "Stop Recording" 
11. Upload video onto iPad, iPhone, or computers
12. Repeat steps 4-11 with a video on the same topic, scaffolded to the different level, as students' needs may dictate
13. Have students watch videos (with headphones) based on instructional level, following along on parallel instructional sheets, notebooks or other materials.
14. Pull students while class is watching the videos to work one-on-one or in small groups on needed skills.
15. Lather, Rinse and Repeat. 

See? Teacher - Cloned! Beyond the simple fact that by creating these videos, I am then free to pull small groups to look at slides, dissect a flower or conduct an experiment, this method also offers a myriad of other unique opportunities. For example, the students can now pause the lesson and rewind if they didn’t understand something – a feature that a live lesson with 25 students would not afford them. Furthermore, absent students who usually simply “miss out” on any lessons occurring when they were not present can now come before or after school to experience the lesson in the exact way they would have were they present! The students now experience a personal, up-close view of all manipulatives and demonstration objects that are being used in the lesson (rather than often having to sit in the back of the classroom 20 feet away from the lesson). 

In soliciting students for feedback on our daily use of iPads, they all cite that watching these videos is a high point of their day. 

Says one student, "It makes me want to come to school everyday 'cause I know that Ms. Magiera got a lesson just for me that day. I don't want to miss my lesson. I like it cause she's - like - talking just to me. It's cool kinda being the only kid in the class."

PS: I also am excited to have a library of these differentiated videos for next year's instruction. Here's to hoping I teach the same grade level and subjects!


  1. Jennie, this is so great. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful things you are doing!

  2. Jennie,

    You are such an awesome teacher! I am always amazed by the work you put into teaching and your innovations!

    Love, Marissa

  3. Hi Jennie! I hope this isn't a silly question - I have 30 iPads in my classroom. What is the most efficient way to upload videos to each iPad? I do have a cart, but haven't used the syncing function yet. Thank you! Priya pjshah@cps.edu

    1. Not a silly question! Your sync cart is your best friend in this case. It's the easiest solve unless you have awesome WiFi that can handle 30 videos being streamed at once... check this out for more info: http://teachinglikeits2999.blogspot.com/2012/09/first-time-syncing-with-bretford.html