In this two-part showcase series that follows on from the part 1 screenshot showcase, I want to turn my attention to screencasts (short videos of screens with  voice added) to share ideas on how these can introduce or recycle language, point learners in new directions or send personalized feedback.

Khan Academy Screen 4

This screencast comes from the  Past tense section of the Khan Academic Grammar course (part of their Arts & Humanities “Free. For everyone. Forever” online courses).

Khan Academy Grammar Course – Past tense

Khan Academy – Flipped classroom grammar input

This screencast was designed by the Khan Academy for students to access on their own – as self-study material. It can also be used for blended or flipped courses, where learners view the grammar video prior to a lesson as input or following a lesson to help review tricky language or simply as part of guided homework for learners that need to catch up on a specific grammar point.

The blackboard style design of the screen represents the traditional teacher explanation of a specific grammar point but the delivery via YouTube or another online video sharing platform cuts out the repetition needed to explain the same grammar point across multiple groups while also providing students with a pause button to allow them to pace their own learning. The rewind feature of online video watching can increase autonomy, review  and support learners are not able to make it to a face to face class perhaps because of trip or illness.

Possible follow-up tasks:

  • Sort words by their past ending and pronounce the endings
  • Use verbs to talk about recent past actions
  • Write and then record a story using 5 of the verbs.

Fast track: find ready-made screencasts on language points you need to cover from YouTube or other video sharing sites e.g Vimeo.

Added value: watching videos independently can help learners take more responsibility for their learning, it can provide additional opportunities to review key language and most importantly it can free up face to face classes for speaking practice rather than language input and teacher talk time! Teachers can also invest in creating a bank of videos and offer these to learners as part of their course package. The time invested often pays off, as learners experience added value and teachers can organize other lessons with other cohorts and perhaps increase the number of learners (clients) they reach.

Instructions Screen 5

This video screencast was created to provide clearer instructions for a mini homework task based on the British Council  Learn English Film UK website.

Learners were provided with a URL to the screencast (either via email, their usual LMS or whatsapp), they watch the screencast and then do their homework.

Possible follow-up tasks:

  • Preparing a presentation on the film selected to share with classmates
  • Recording a mini screencast about things learnt from the film selected
  • Talking about the films in class and comparing or expanding on the topics

Value added: the screencast ensures all learners know what to do for homework. How many times have you had a learner come to class saying they couldn’t find the site or didn’t know where to click or forgot what they were supposed to do?  This gives a very quick explanation and this type of tutorial can save a 1000 words!

Tutor feedback screen 6

This idea comes from the guru of screen casting, Russell Standard who inspires and instructs thousands of educators via his Teacher Training Videos   – check out this one-stop for all things related to screenshots and screen casting. You won’t be disappointed!

In this video Russell shows how he delivers feedback on written assignments without demotivating trainees with over reliance of red pen corrections!

Possible follow-up tasks:

  • learners share their feedback with other learners to show they understand their mistakes
  • learners re-write their assignment and re-submit it to their tutor
  • learners create their own screencast with comments on their assignment or changes made to their work

Added value: although there is some investment in time to get organized and set up with providing feedback in this way, it can actually save time. Often when teachers or tutors give back written assignments, learners might not understand all the corrections and may want to go over them. That personal attention in a face to face class can detract time from the lesson. Personalized screencast feedback provide learners with individual direction, it shows learners that the teacher / tutor really cares, it captures a “forever” moment of their learning, celebrating learner mistakes as a way to value their learning progress by illustrating that “things to think about” nature in their path to further development.