Friday, January 24, 2014


As I have been creating resources for the media center, I find myself using screencasting tools more and more. If you are not familiar with this term, here is a quick definition (from 

Screencasting: A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as video screen capture, often containing audio narration.

The screencapture tool that I have found very easy to use is ScreencastOMatic. You can record directly from the ScreencastOMatic website with no registration. You do have the option of downloading the free software and/or creating an account. Screencasting can be used for:
  • Creating tutorials
  • Showing students how to access software or web resources
  • Discussing any resource that you can open on your computer or device – websites, documents, spreadsheets, images, etc.

The videos can then be linked on your website so that students can review them as needed.

Students can also use screencasting for projects, for example, demonstrating their understanding of a resource, concept or image.

Kathy Shrock has a comprehensive web page of screencasting resources:
Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Everything – Screencasting in the classroom.

In her blog, Kathy's Katch - Screencasting for ecducators, she also gives some practical advice on getting started.

One recommendation I have is to start small. I found that breaking information into multiple screencasts worked best for me. Otherwise I found myself fumbling sentences and saying some very strange things…

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


As I was contemplating my next post, I thought of how students (and adults) can benefit from assistance with developing ideas and plans. So the next tools I'm going to write about have to do with brainstorming, capturing input as well as organizing thoughts and ideas. They are listed on the RHS Media website on the Web Tools tab as well. is an easy to use site for quickly adding and mapping ideas. Maps can be saved or exported as an image (JPEG) file.

padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is self described as "paper for the web". Comments and ideas can be instantly captured on a topic. Contributions can be anonymous if needed. You can try this tool out here

Realtime Board is described as a "white board" for your browser. This tool is a bit more complex to use. But it does tie in to Google Drive. Boards can be shared for collaborative work. They can also be downloaded as an image (JPEG). is an easy to use brainstorming tool. Multi-media elements such as text, files, images, maps and calendar events can quickly be added. Work can be shared for collaboration, downloaded as an image file (JPEG) or printed.

TodaysMeet is a great tool for capturing ideas, comments and questions in real time. It's also easy to set up and use. Try it out here. No registration required.

NoodleTools (school login info) and Prezi are also possible options for brainstorming and organizing thoughts. The Notecard Table Top in NoodleTools lets students add and organize ideas and information. This program is also a great research project tool where students can manage their work, store resources, get assistance with citing sources and much more. It also ties in well with the Common Core standards. Click on the link above for logging in. Contact me for more information. 

Prezi is typically thought of as a presentation tool. But text, files, images and videos can easily be captured and organized in the work space. Prezis can also be shared for collaboration, saved, printed, etc.