The NETS-T standard 2 (indicator A) states that the teacher will
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
I've spent the past 3 years teaching computers, and in using technology, there's a pattern I saw:
I bet that sounds familiar. So last year, I started using Jing so that I could make sure I taught the same skills consistently across classes. And if a student came in after a lesson, that student could benefit from the same instruction that the whole class received. Additionally, students could be re-taught by "me" on video while I was helping another student. Jing was helping me work smarter, not harder.
In the Putnam County School System, my Mac came with QuickTime Pro; I believe we have a site license for that software. That means it can record. My Macbook has a built-in microphone and webcam. That's all I (and you) need.
The iBook G4 laptops had built-in mics (as did the iMacs), but Apple obfuscates (i.e. hides) the microphone into the laptop's design; the mic is located on the right-hand side of your laptop screen:
It's worth noting that when I scanned that laptop (yes, I just laid another laptop on a scanner and stored the image on my laptop), I noticed that the placement of that laptop's microphone was lower than mine and these are both MacBooks, but mine is newer. So you may have to look around a bit to find your microphone, but it's there. When you record, if you gently brush your finger across the microphone, it will sound like someone is assaulting your laptop.
Open Quicktime. Next to the Apple Icon (upper left corner of your screen), click on the words "QuickTime Player" and go down the menu until you see Preferences (not Quicktime Preferences):
From that screen, click on the recording icon (it looks like a camera). Then toggle (change) the quality to "Device Native" (use the up and down arrows on the right to change the quality). Don't worry about the other settings for now (I'll cover CamTwist below).
That was your major change. Now you are ready to record, from QuickTime, click on the File menu and choose "New Movie Recording".
To record, click on the round red dot; when you start recording, that round red dot will change to a black square. When you click the black square, you will stop recording. You can save (File menu -> Save) your recording when done, and you'll have a movie of you!
Note the above movie is an mp4 which could be played from your desktop. Uploading that video to SchoolTube changed the format to an FLV (Flash Video) which cut the file size down to 2.2 mb (from 8.4 mb, about a quarter of the original size). Rather than post mammoth videos online, I'd recommend a video site, such as SchoolTube. Here's the same video, embedded from SchoolTube; you can see the quality of the video is still good:
Jing has a freeware version, is an easy install and is a great product, except that the free version only exports to SWF format, which is a bit awkward to use; if you plan to use it, I'd recommend paying the registration fee ($15 as I write this), because that will let you export to a MOV file, which is easier to edit.
Creating video for your classes does take an investment of time on the front end, but if you repeat the same kind of instruction, it really pays off in the long run. And many children respond better to video than the written word. The school administration told us we had to implement in-class exercise to be in compliance with T.C.A. 49-6-1021, part of the Coordinated School Health Program. So, as I was teaching computer skills, I used a series of stretches from Stretching by Bob and Jean Anderson (p. 114). I used Audacity to record myself calling out each position -- and the students would get lost in stretching and I would have 3 or 4 doing something totally off from the rest of the class. So I recorded a video (so that the students could see as well as hear) and that problem went away. Since we stretched every day, I made a few different versions set to different pieces of music so that it wouldn't feel like the same thing day in and day out.
I also used desktop screencasting (video of my actions on the desktop) to demonstrate actions that my students might need to know.
I've been looking for a free alternate to Jing, and I sort of have it. If you've got the RAM, you're golden; otherwise, I recommend Jing.
Camtwist (Mac OS) takes a little effort to set up, but the payoff was great. I had run across an article by bluemonki.net that told you how to use iMovie to screencast (the catch is that you need iMovie HD, which was on my old iBook G4, but not my MacBook). But with a little inventiveness, I was able to use Quicktime Pro with Camtwist and accomplish everything Jing did, and I could save it to anything Quicktime could (as a MOV, for example).
If you set the Video Size rate too high, when you record, the picture will either be doubled or distorted (or both).
The above movie was recorded on a MacBook with only 1 GB of RAM. You can see the screensize is too small. It's not that the capture won't work on that system, but the output is very small.
Below is larger sized file that would be adequate for use; it was made on a MacBook with 2 GB of Ram.
You can always store the videos on your computer and if you hook up your computer to a TV or projector or Interactive WhiteBoard, you could play it in class. However, you also could upload it online for you (and your students) to access. Once it's online, they can even watch a class lesson at home if a student is sick (or is in the middle of a project at home and just wants to go back over what you're looking for).
NETS-T (overview) >