My sample Educreation lesson on the Council of Nicaea
(yes, you will see I spelled it wrong on the video) in my Byzantine Unit.
I finally received my classroom set of iPads the week before the storm hit. And then we were out of school for almost two full weeks. When we returned, the Internet was down. So I am now beginning to test drive my classroom set with the kids.
The free app that we are using to start is called Educreations. It allows the user to create presentations on a topic as if the viewer was listening to a lecture from a teacher using a smartboard. You can write on the screen and add text and pictures as well as your voice. It is a class lecture without my ugly mug!
In order to get the students trained on the program, I gave them a tutorial and then allowed them 15-20 minutes to create anything on any topic. Most took pictures of themselves, others realized by adding more slides, you can create cartoon motion. After that, each group was assigned a topic based on our studies on the Byzantine Empire and they have to develop a minute long presentation for the class.
The next step will be that each student will be assigned a topic which other students can access and learn from.
The pros of the this program are that it is quick and easy to use. It allows a teacher a fast way to post brief explanations of topics and then post them to a website so students can watch them if they are absent or if they need more time to understand the concept. For the student, it is a fun way to demonstrate to the teacher their understanding of a topic or concept.
I could see math teachers not only posting explanations of problems online, but assigning their students a problem and have them not only write down each step, but verbalize what they are doing during each process.
The cons of this program is that you cannot edit your work. Once you start recording, that is it. Make a mistake in the last 30 seconds of a 5 minute presentation, and you have to record everything again. The best way to attack this app is to think things through and/or write down exactly what you plan to do.
For example, the sample I posted, I threw together on a Saturday morning. There are definitely changes I would make if I could, but it is good enough to get the point of the program across.
Another way to look at the lack of editing features is emphasizing to a student, that's life. When you are presenting at your job, there isn't a "do-over" so do your best to prepare well.
Weighing pros and cons together....it's a keeper.
(Here is the link http://www.educreations.com)