Thursday, November 6, 2014

Benefits of an embedded webcam in student work

I have been have been really interested in imbedding a webcam into my students recordings this school year.  I first became curious about this idea while creating my video for the Google Teacher Academy in Mexico City.  I wanted people to be able to see that I could give a presentation in Spanish.  The video proved to be an amazing learning experience for me.  The far majority of our speech is done without seeing what we look like while we talk.  When you see yourself talk you instantly analyze and reflect about how you sound and look while speaking.  Doing this screencast with the imbedded webcam was an incredible experience.  It made me analyze  how I looked and sounded, and I recording until I found myself looking and sounding really confident in the webcam.  What I realized after was that this process was a great public speaking exercise.

 I instantly realized that this can be a very powerful tool for my students to practice their Spanish.

To have my students use the webcam they first created a Google presentation with their conversations in Spanish.  The next step would be to record a screencast where they would present their presentations right on their Chromebooks.  I chose to use the Chrome extension Screencastify because it downloads right to Google Drive and gives you the option to imbed a webcam.

The finished works came out great and now my students can reflect on how they look and sound when speaking in Spanish.  It provides a great opportunity for a digital portfolio where the student can now hear and see themselves speaking a new language.

Here is one screencast from a student who created an excellent podcast all done with Google slides and Screencastify on a Chromebook.