Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom


  • Click here to download our free iTunesU course on screencasting and digital differentiation through video! Be sure to download episode #2, the ePub (iBook), for a comprehensive look at how to do this, how to use it in your classroom and some ideas for lessons! If you like it, we'd love a 5 star rating :)!
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
-(Optional) Point 2 View Doc Cam - $69.99 on Amazon 
- Quicktime Player - FREE
- If you do NOT have a MacBook, check out Screenr and Screencast-O-Matic, two great websites (of many) that allow PC users to screencast for free!

1. Get your materials together, just as you would teach the actual lesson. Whether this is a PowerPoint/Keynote or pattern blocks, make sure everything is in place.
2. Optional: If you want to record a live demo, 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). If you plan to just record your screen, this step is not needed.
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 (click on the small arrow in the lower right corner to make sure "Built in Microphone: Internal Microphone" is checked. See the picture above for reference.)
7. Click Record
8. Now everything on your screen is being recorded, as well as your voice. If you chose to plug in your Point 2 View Camera, maximize the P2V video window. If you did not, then teach your lesson using a webpage, PowerPoint/Keynote slide show or just teach your students how to navigate on the computer. Everything happening on your screen will be captured.
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!