This weekend I attended TechSmith’s Screencast Camp, which brought multifaceted educators together to share ideas about how to best use new technology. Traditional teachers and corporate trainers shared stories in an interactive forum throughout the event in groups as large as thirty people or as small as my two person fireside chat with Rich Wersinger.
It’s worth mentioning the event is called a “camp” for a reason. Attendees had the opportunity to get their sleeping bags out of the closet and camp out under the stars next to TechSmith’s headquarters. And though I’m a well decorated Boy Scout, it took me far too long to pitch a tent—let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve roughed it. And when I say “roughed it,” I’m talking about the black eye I gave myself trying to mount an iPod to the ceiling of my tent so I could stream Netflix lying down. Impressive, I know.
As far as actual camp programming is concerned, one of several highlights was Matt Pierce’s Flipped Classroom training discussion. Attendees shared their experiences screencasting to students and employees and reaffirmed how important it is to know your learners and tailor your teaching to their needs. He also discussed how it’s important not to assume that learners are automatically engaged in what is being taught, and to use built in incentives that motivate students to learn and retain information.
Talks on Saturday finished with Brian Bennett discussing do’s and don’ts when creating screencasts for students. This was my favorite part of the day, because Brian gave an honest and transparent look at how he runs his classroom. Screencasting is a useful tool to deliver content to students, but he doesn’t assign more than 3 short videos a week. So often I hear that the key to a flipped classroom is video assignment each night, so it was very interesting to hear what techniques actually worked and what flopped.
I had a great time hanging out with familiar faces and making new friends. Until next year, Screencast Camp!