This parents night experience was an interesting way to introduce the power of video lectures to a teacher. By learning how to screen cast lectures teachers can actually increase the amount of time that they have to do other lesson planning or introduction of key concepts to students. Video lectures do need some planning and should contain all the details that you want to have included in a regular lesson lecture. It is also important to require students to take notes and be prepared for a discussion.
It makes a huge difference how much time you spend practicing and preparing for the video lecture. A video lecture which is well-prepared and timed appropriately should include all the components that they would in a regular lesson but can also include links to web based surveys,documents or videos. A video lecture can be loaded with links or assessments which students can prepare for classroom sharing and communication. Performing a few practice run throughs will also improve the quality of your voice and detail to which you can talk about things.
The best part of video lectures is that the tools to make them are free and readily available on the web. My favorite tool for creating video lectures and presentations is Screen Cast O-Matic. I started off with the free version of the software and was very impressed and allowed me to create presentations videos which were 15 minutes in length. I was able to share them and also upload them to YouTube so that I always had a place that I can link them from what I share with my students more quickly. There is also a pro version of screen cast O-Matic for $15 a year. I recommend this version if you are really into adding text, editing your videos more concisely or longer recording time. The pro version also removes of the watermark on the screen that says Screen Cast O-Matic.
If you use the iPad your courses you're definitely going to want to check out an app called Educreations. This application allows you to record on your iPad screen and import images create text and do a variety of speaking over what is projected onto your iPad screen. I recommend this application especially if you work on the elementary level and have some key lessons with you continually use over and over again. If you do a great job of planning out your lessons that you want to show on educreations they could be a great resource for you and also for other teachers you can find them available on the web.
With the development of online classrooms using the flip classroom model I think you going to see more and more teachers using screen cast or video based lectures. This type of sharing of your lectures is great to share your work as well as enable students to have access to your lessons anywhere they go. YouTube is very friendly to uploading these lectures along with allowing you to tag them and make them easily searchable on the web. This feature makes it easy to use YouTube as a homepage for all your video lectures. On Youtube you can then tag them and organize them into playlists.
At Andover high school I have had several teachers create video lectures for their classrooms. video lectures can help increase engagement for students in and out of the classroom. Just remember that isn't it is important to prepare accordingly for how long your presentations going to be what content you want to cover. Also, have a strategy for how you're going to share these with your students quickly and easily. Think about linking them to existing course management systems or even just having a YouTube page where you can find them all.
Personally I like using videos as a form of assessment for student work. I love having the ability to have students sit down and create a voiceover showing the work they've created on the web. This could be how students present a PowerPoint show a website design or even discuss a particular talk it topic using other web based presentation formats. I feel that with screencasts students can talk clearly and concisely about what they want to create and can also show their deep knowledge of what they've been working on. It's also a great opportunity to have students add their personal voice to what they've created. I have included two links to video lectures that teachers have made in my school. If you're more interested in using it as an assessment tool feel free to visit my YouTube page where I have samples of videos in which rubrics are included. There are also videos which show specific components of the rubrics and videos in which students describe the process of completing a project.