This fourth featured post in A Series of Classroom Connections comes to us from the Spanish classroom of Joanna Porvin at Brownell Middle School.
How do students prove that they are developing spoken fluency in another language? While this skill is typically assessed in person by a teacher through conversations, this task can become a challenge to manage for larger classes. Technology can help make the process of assessing fluency easier with recording and narration tools, some of which are freely available.
Educreations is a simple screencasting and video presentation app that allows the user to annotate images with drawings, text and recordings. Students import all their visuals and record their speaking about the images in teams or individually.
Educreations requires very little training for the students who generally complete this activity successfully on the first try. Educreations allows the user to pause recording which makes it easy to include multiple speakers.
Additionally, unlike some other presentation tools, Educreations allows the user to cut and paste text which is a quick strategy for photo attribution. Sharing occurs via an account so students log in to a classroom account prior to beginning their work.
A caveat to consider is that the recording feature allows pausing but not previewing before saving. As presentations cannot be edited once saved, there is no way currently to re-record a narration after the fact.
As a work around, students took a screen capture of their post cards to import into their screencast and started a new Educreations presentation. Also, it is wise to ensure that students have logged out of the app prior to leaving class so that work is not accidentally or deliberately changed.
Much like recorded audio assessments for fluency of world language learners in the past, using Educreations requires students to speak in realtime about images that appear in front of them with as much detail as possible. In the past, the ease with which student recordings could be assessed and feedback given was just not there. Now, with screencasting tools, like Educreations, students can create and share their narrations almost immediately with the teacher and position themselves ready for useful feedback earlier on in the learning progression. They also have the ability to share their narrations with each other, presenting peer feedback, and archive them to refer back to when studying in the future.
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