Flipping Out

I’m going to start creating some content for ‘flipped classroom’ activities and I’m collecting ideas on methods for generating materials and pedagogies. If you have any suggestions, I’d enjoy hearing from you.

As of right now, I’m evaluating different iOS and OS X technologies that I might leverage for the creation of video (primarily screencast) content. Here’s an incomplete list of what I am looking at:

I thought that it would be simple to run through Keynote (or MS Powerpoint) slides while capturing the screen with SnapzProX. As it turns out, there are a few “tricks” to keep in mind. First, there are certain options with SnapzProX that I needed to adjust: record the microphone track, make the cursor visible (so that I could use it as a pointer), and record the computer’s audio track, whenever it made sense. Second, there seems to be a bit of a gotcha I need to work out: when I record a running slide show, I don’t really capture what is on screen. What I end up with are blank (black) screens and a voice over. (When I start the slideshow and then activate SnapzProX, there seems to be some contention for screen access.)

My solution, so far, to generate the content I need was to record small movies from me using a shell and/or text editor, export each of my Keynote slides as an individual PNG image, and use iMovie to piece everything together. The short movies have voice over (recorded together with the screen), but the slides that appear in the iMovie-edited full product have a bit of silence.¬†Generating content can be tricky, but it’s not rocket science. Since a lot of the content seems to take the shape of movies, in particular screencasts, it’s good to keep in mind¬†what not to do.

Mastering the content production technology is nothing if you don’t know how it will impact your teaching. Here are a few interesting pointers that help you reflect on the whys and hows:

  • http://flippedclassroom.org/
  • http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-best-practices-andrew-miller