How to Engage with an EdChat on Twitter

The concept of an #Edchat was established July 30, 2009 by Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell), Tom Whitby (@TomWhitby), and Steven Anderson (@Web20classroom) <- some more inspirational teachers to follow!

The idea is simple, set a time for a group of like minded educators to gather on Twitter and engage in a live discussion.  If you want to access the conversation, hop on Twitter at the designated time and use the search box to query the hashtag (make sure to click “Latest” to show the incoming live posts). That is it, you are now in a live chat.  What shows up in the search results are tweets that other twitter members have sent out that contain the event hashtag, sorted from the newest to the oldest.  

Feel free to join the conversation by sending out a tweet.  To ensure that others see your tweet, just include the event hashtag.  Other ways to engage include retweeting, liking, following, or replying. 

This is the basic idea of an edchat; an open discussion with the community.  

How to participate

Search the event hashtag #BCEdChat on Twitter every Sunday at 7pm PST to access the conversation live.

If you want to access the archives from each week, you can access them on this link. Some interesting topics can be found in the archives including Work Life Balance, Grade or No Grade, and Computers & Teachers.

Interested in a more global perspective? The #Edchat event hashtag is the weekly global Twitter conversation that any educator can join to discuss and learn about current teaching trends, how to integrate technology, transform their teaching, and connect with inspiring educators worldwide. The group also discusses education policy, education reform and often have leaders worldwide join the conversation. Join the conversation on Tuesday’s at 4pm PST.

Further reading

#Edchat: Why & How by Tom Whitby @tomwhitby

What is #edchat? by Michelle Manno

 

Using instructional video to communicate and teach

Video has become an important resource for use in education. It is often integrated as part of traditional courses, serves as a resource for many blended courses, and may be the main information delivery mechanism in some fully online courses. Several studies have shown that video can be a highly effective educational tool.

Educational video comes in many different forms, below find some examples: 

lecture recordings


screencasts 


talking head video


presentations


classroom recordings


interviews

simulations

animations


It has been argued that you can now find a video online to learn just about anything.  

The potential strengths of video as a medium for instruction include:

  • linking concrete events and phenomena to abstract principles and vice versa
  • the ability of students to stop and start, so they can integrate activities with video
  • providing alternative approaches that can help students having difficulties in learning abstract concepts
  • adding substantial interest to a course by linking it to real world issues
  • a growing amount of freely available high quality academic videos
  • good for developing some of the higher level intellectual skills and some of the more practical skills needed in a digital age
  • the use of low cost cameras and free editing software enables some forms of video to be cheaply produced.

The potential weaknesses of video as a medium for instruction include:

  • unless your video is captioned with subtitles it can be difficult for the hearing impaired to access
  • many educators have no knowledge or experience in using video other than for recording lectures
  • there is currently a very limited amount of high quality educational video free for downloading, because the cost of developing high quality educational video that exploits the unique characteristics of the medium is still relatively high.
  • links to video can go dead after a while, affecting the reliability of outsourced video. 
  • creating original material that exploits the unique characteristics of video is time-consuming, and still relatively expensive, because it usually needs professional video production
  • to get the most out of educational video, students need specially designed activities that sit outside the video itself
  • students often reject videos that require them to do analysis or interpretation; they often prefer direct instruction that focuses primarily on comprehension. Such students need to be trained to use video differently, which requires time to be devoted to developing such skills.

Tools for creating video 

The following tools are available to help you create a video. 

  • Jing – Jing will allow you to record whatever is on your screen, this is called a screencast. You could run a presentation using PowerPoint, show off a website, display pictures, or demonstrate how to use a piece of software.  Once you have created your video you can share it on Screencast.com
  • Biteable – Biteable allows you to create short videos by combining audio, media, and text. You can then save your video to YouTube for sharing.  

Open Broadcaster Software – Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.


  • Screencast-O-Matic – Allows for the creation of up to 15 minute videos capturing your screen or webcam. You can save the video file to your computer and/or upload it to YouTube. 
  • PowToon – PowToon supports the creation of animated videos presentations.  A free account will allow for up to 5 minute watermarked videos. You can’t download the video file for free but you can host and present the video on the PowToon service. 
  • Videoscribe – Videoscribe supports the creation of whiteboard style animations, incorporating images, text, voice, and music. There is a free 7 day trial of the software available. 
  • Your cell phone! – Your cell phone likely includes a camera capable of filming quality video clips.  Create a video lecture, question and answer session, or tour and upload your video to YouTube for sharing. 
  • Record from your webcam – Webcam recordings can be created with the apps Photobooth (iOS) or Camera (Windows) which are built into the operating systems.  
  • If you have Microsoft PowerPoint on your computer you can create a video using the software.
  • Commercial Tools – There are also tools like Adobe PremierCamtasia Studio, and iMovie which will allow you to create video. These tools cost money so I have not recommended them to you, if you have access to them please feel free to use! 

Sharing video online 

You can share your video creation online with YouTube. When you upload a video you can make it Public, Unlisted or Private. I suggest you make the videos “unlisted” so they can not be found on YouTube and access will only be granted to people you share the link or embed code with.    

How to set your video as unlisted: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/157177

The importance of captioning video 

Closed captioning makes video accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing by translating audio into text captions displayed on the screen. The captions also identify who is speaking and the emotions they are feeling, and include icons for elements such as musicCaptions are also helpful for people who are learning English, as it allows them to see the words as they are being heard. Captions can be generated by drafting a script for your video, which forces you to plan what is going to be said and provides explicit planning. Furthermore, captions allow people to search the transcript of your video which can be useful for search and finding a specific passage within a video. 

You do not have to create captions for the videos you will create for this course. I do encourage you to consider captioning any videos you create in your professional activities.  

References 

Bates, T. (2016) Teaching in a Digital Age. Chapter 7: Pedagogical differences between media. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/9-5-3-video

EdCamp Resources

I hope you all enjoyed our mini-EdCamp session last week. I am following up with the resources and links on the origins and support for organizing EdCamps should you wish to review further.

An EdCamp is an unconference, which is a user-generated conference. There is no rigid pre-selection of session topics planned in advance. Instead, ideas for collaboration and conversation are determined as attendees identify common themes/topics that they would like to explore, and what they can teach others about.

EdCamp UVic – http://edcampuvic.ca/what-is-an-edcamp/

Be sure to check out the EdCamp Foundation, EdCamp UVic website for more details. Also see the EdCamp tech inquiry group project resource that was created in a previous year.

Forming Groups for the Tech Inquiry Project

Use this document to sign up for your tech inquiry group project. I have attempted to start this process using this Google Form, click here to review and add or change your topic  as required.

For this activity, you are asked to sign up in groups of 4 for a tech inquiry from the following list, research the topic/tool(s) and form broad and specific inquiry questions around it. You must create a weekly blog post on it. Be sure to use “tech inquiry” to categorize your posts.

In your review blog post, consider: linking to the tool website, embedding a tutorial video, reviewing social media hashtags to see how it’s used (e.g., #flipgrid #explaineverything on Twitter), write/link to how it is being used in schools, cover pros/cons, interview a teacher in the field on how they use it or what they think of it, and provide your opinion on if you’d use it and when/how. You are expected to go into depth on this topic. Consider some tools being used in SD61, listed here – some inquiries will be more tech/tool specific, while others can be more “meta” such as the impact of screentime on children.

You can work in groups of 4, but only one group per section can sign up to one topic. In groups, each partner must have a blog post, but it can be identical, so each week a group member takes a turn writing a blog post. Also, note that you aren’t limited from covering more than one topic should you sufficiently exhaust the learning on the first topic, but only sign up for your first topic on this form. If you can’t form a group of 4, then groups of 3 must showcase for 20 minutes and groups of 2 for 15 minutes. Group of 1: 10 minutes

WordPress Setup Tutorial Video

I have created a quick screencast video to help you get your WordPress portfolio setup based on your feedback in class last week. You can access the site I am working on here. I hope this helps, please let me know in the comments below.

This video was created with the Open Broadcaster Software (aka OBS). This software is freely available and open source and can be used for video recording and live streaming. Feel free to experiment with it in your projects.

Brainstorming our Tech Inquiry Topics

Thank you for sharing the technology inquiry projects you are considering for this term. I am providing the list I captured in class for your convenience. You may still decide to add to this list or change your topic, that is ok!

  • Assistive technology
  • Blogging
  • Educational mobile apps
  • Educational video
  • Freshgrade
  • Google Apps for Education (GAFE)
  • Language revitalization and resources/technologies to support these projects
  • MinecraftEDU
  • Using technology to design multimodal learning
  • Online educational resources
  • Photography
  • Podcasts
  • Smartboards
  • Technology use in the classroom
  • Twitter
  • Websites to learn and engage in coding

Now that we have some ideas out there for our tech inquiry project, start to think about what questions you might want to address while investigating the technology and its’ applicability and relation to education. See some examples on this page: http://edci336.ca/tech-inquiry/

Photo by Ruediger Theiselmann on Unsplash