5 Edtech Tools in 5 Minutes

You don’t know what you don’t know, right? And there are SO many educational technology tools out there, with new ones arriving and leaving us everyday, that it’s hard to keep up.

5_in_5That’s why I started these monthly 5 in 5 episodes that highlight five edtech tools in five minutes (okay, you caught me-under six minutes).  You may not have the time to go searching for a specific tool for hours and then spend a few more hours learning how to use the tool.  But surely you have five minutes to learn about five different tools each month!

Obviously, you won’t find out everything you need to know about a tool in one minute.  At least this is a starting point.  You’ll be able to judge if the tool is worth your time and get an idea if it has a place in your classroom based on your needs.

So, if you’ve got 15 minutes now, get caught up on the first three episodes.  For the videos, the Prezis, Diigo links to all the sites featured in the episodes and more, visit my website. If you don’t want to miss another episode, subscribe to the iTunes podcast channel here.

What sites do you think I should feature?

Tech To You Later!


Help Students Build Confidence as a Presenter Through Screencasts

The other day I met with a teacher to go over some things about our LMS.  When I arrived to her classroom she had a student who had to give her a presentation before we started, so I decided to stick around and wait for him to finish.  The student did a great job and really knew a lot about the topic. He was very mature and even shook the teacher’s hand and thanked her when the presentation was over. I assumed he had been absent on his presentation day.

I was wrong.

This student had asked the teacher if he could give his first class presentation of the year to just her because he was afraid he may be sick if he had to do it in front of the whole class.  He wanted a chance to work his way up to giving a presentation in front of the whole class.  I’m sure there are many other students in the building who have this same debilitating fear of public speaking.

So I got to thinking this weekend, how can teachers help students build their confidence to present in front of the entire class?

screencasts for student presentationsThen I remembered one of the screen capture tools I included in my 5 in 5 screencast from October 2013.  I thought students could use Jing (or any screencast tool) to take a screencast of their presentation, including their voice to talk through the presentation just as they would in front of the class.  Then students could upload their presentations to screencast.com and share the link with the class via a discussion board, class blog, class wiki, etc. Each student would be required to watch all the other students’ screencasts and comment on the presentation.

Sharing screencasts may be an alternative to first time, in-person class presentations, especially if you have a lot of shy students. How do you help students build their confidence to present in front of a large group?

Tech To You Later!