Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More with Educreations

Now that I've already talked about the basic concept and features of Educreations, let's look at some of the ways you can use it with your students.

Here are just a few ideas for how teachers can use Educreations:

  • Post mini-lessons for students to view prior to a full lesson (as a warm-up in class or as a homework assignment the night before)
  • Post a recap of major concepts covered in class (embed on course website)
  • Record and post a lesson as a response to a homework question when a student sends an email after school - especially great for math teachers like me!

This is a (very brief) lesson that I created about the Pythagorean Theorem:

As you can see, you can use different colors when you're writing. You can also switch between different pages. I did that when I moved from my initial title page to the page where I drew the triangle. Although I didn't switch back, you can also use left/right arrows on the app to move between the pages of your lesson. That's great if you want to be able to refer back to something you mentioned earlier. Much better than having to permanently erase everything on the screen when you want to do something new!

A few other features that you didn't get to see here:

  • You can set up content on the pages before you start recording. If there's something that will take too long to do while you're talking, you can take care of it in advance.
  • You can also start recording, pause the recording to add content to your page (as mentioned in the previous point), and then resume recording.
  • You can embed photos from the camera app, from your photo roll, from Dropbox, or from the web. Once the photos are on your pages, you can draw on them or resize them.
  • If you're not a fan of writing on the screen, you can use the text box tool instead - unless you need to use special characters like math or music symbols.
  • You can change the background from plain white into lined paper, graph paper, or a coordinate grid.
I'm particularly excited about how effectively students could use Educreations themselves in a math class! For example, rather than just handing in a solution to a problem, they could record their solution process and submit it. Students would have to articulate their thought process while completing the steps, which would reinforce all of the concepts and would make it easier for the teacher to assess the students' understanding. I can't wait to try using this app with my students!

If you still have technical or logistical questions about Educreations, try checking the FAQ on their website. If you're looking for more ways to use Educreations in your classroom, check out some ideas from AppsInClass.

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