Monday, August 13, 2012

All you have to do is ask

In one of my recent posts, I was grumbling about not having funds for Camtasia.  I had gotten a chance to play with it at a conference I went to this summer, but was disappointed when I found out my district didn't have the software.  Well...apparently the spectacular people at TechSmith read my blog & took pity on me.  They gave me a copy of Camtasia to try out this a hearty thank-you goes out to TechSmith, you all are amazing!

Since then, I also got a partner in crime who wants to try this whole flipped/mastery thing out with yeah for me!  She recently came over & we were able to get our entire first unit filmed.  The week that followed allowed me some time to toy around with Camtasia & I am loving it so far :)  I'm still trying to figure out all the in's & out's of the program, but I can record, zoom, highlight & put in notes, which are the most essential pieces to enhancing the videos (in my humble opinion).

I also recently got my youtube channel up & running.  This is where I plan to store all of our flipped classroom videos.  If you're interested in checking out the videos that Jodi & I made, you can access my my channel here.  I've heard there is a way to require the students to answer a question during your video to allow them to move on...if anyone knows how to do that, I'd appreciate the info!

If you watch the videos we've made so far, you'll notice I've had to do a lot of work making the transitions in the slideshow come in at the right time.  I don't have a tablet to write on, which I think would make the process even easier for us & for the kids.  I think there is something to be said for students watching how I actually solve problems by hand.  I asked our tech department if they happened to have a tablet laying around (a girl can dream, right?) & they actually do have one that I can use!

On a less positive note, I found out recently that I do not get my i-pad back next year...they had to give it to a different teacher to be used for a different purpose...It's all tied to the funding that was used to purchase the i-pad.  I understand the why, but it still stinks.  I was hoping to get the students more involved in the video making process this year, and that was going to rely heavily on using the i-pad.  Being the optimistic person that I am, I won't let that stop me.  I'll write a grant for an i-pad...unless anyone has one of those laying around too ;)


  1. Hi Delia,

    Such a great post! I am finally learning that those that ask...sometimes receive! I recently set up a meeting with the head of our tech department. I'd been told by many people that we could not get wireless in our classrooms, and that I wouldn't be able to have a 'bring your own device' policy. Well I met with him, explained the flipped classroom (which he loved) and boom, wireless port in my classroom.

    Its not always that easy but your post reminded me that one of the great things about being an educator is sharing. I think we spend so much time looking online for resources and wishing we had things, sometimes all it takes is asking. Thanks for reminding me!

    What have you found the learning curve to be with Camtasia? I currently use Screen-cast-o-matic since its what is in my budget, but am debating on purchasing this with my classroom budget next year (I'd love to be able to zoom in on things). I'm just wondering how long it would take me to redo all my videos.

  2. Camtasia is pretty easy to learn...the tutorials are awesome!

    I agree about the sharing between teachers. I hear people talk about teacher who won't collaborate/share...I think it's crazy. Why are we teachers? We're here for the kids (or we better be!).

  3. Hi Delia - Great write-up...and good to know your video-making with Camtasia is coming along smoothly!

    About the interactive video thing...I don't think YouTube annotations can pause the video & wait for input from the viewer. Camtasia Studio 8 does have a pretty solid quizzing feature (tutorial here) that can do that. You would need to host the videos on or your own server, though, since YouTube doesn't support that kind of interactivity.

    A low-tech method some teachers use to do this is to add a link near the video to a Google form with a question or two that students must complete as a quick comprehension check.

    Hope that helps!

    Daniel Foster
    social media guy, TechSmith

  4. Thanks, Daniel. Unfortunately I have Camtasia for Mac & the quizzing feature isn't there (I don't think)

  5. Ah, that is true...Camtasia for Mac does not have quizzing. At least not yet. :) But I hope you'll upvote the idea on the TechSmith feedback forum.