Friday, 30 November 2012

HOWtube and e-lesson plans

Much as I dislike formal observations of my teaching, useful things do sometimes come out of them.  I have been using a Google presentations to show learning objectives and teaching activities for some time. It was a short step from there to making the presentation available to students from our Google Apps start page. I was told after one observation that the structure of the lesson and the objectives were not made clear enough to students. This was probably true since I was buzzing around like the proverbial fly with a new group beginning a new (to them) subject, and a  new way of working for all of us. After the irritation had faded, I wondered what could be done about this and realised that with only a modicum of tweaking, the presentation could be more than merely available and become the core of an e-learning influenced approach to teaching. I hesitate to say "flipped" since the presentation is designed to be used in class. As our Google Apps are currently closed to the outside world I can't show you an interactive sample, but the slideshow below will give you a clear idea of how it works even if the links are inactive.

You'll notice mention of, and links to, HOWtube (pronounced HOWtoob). This is a Google site I've set up with embedded tutorial videos and slideshows. To my delight our ffffilters leave screenr videos alone. There are several free screen capture sites out there now but screenr is still my favourite. It's really easy to use and embeds and plays reliably. The example below comes from the vocabulary section of HOWtube. It's actually a screenr captured presentation. I think in future I'll just embed the slideshows without capturing them but I chose it because it explains, visually, the meaning and derivation of the word blog... in case you didn't realise you've just been reading one...