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Nebraska Teacher Makes Pencasts Work For Him…How About You?

Cross-posted from the Engaging Technologies blog by Cathy Frank, Livescribe Education Sales Representative, Nebraska & Kansas

I had a wonderful conversation today with Hampton Jr./Sr. High School teacher, Jeremy Sharp, at the Nebraska Association for the Gifted (NAG) Conference in LaVista, NE.  Jeremy has been using the pen on a regular basis this year in his 7th grade math classes, using it to write his notes and then uploading his pencasts to his 7th grade math blog and his 8th grade math blog.

Jeremy is a traveling teacher, and his Mac computer, projector, and Livescribe Pulse smartpen fill up his cart and become his traveling “toolbox.”  Jeremy has avoided the cost of using a document camera by placing his computer on a stand so that it is perched above his notebook and implementing the iChat application on his Mac to capture what he is writing for his students in the classroom. After class, these notes are then uploaded to Livescribe Online and posted as pencasts for his students to take advantage of online at home if necessary.

More importantly, on a small budget, he is providing out-of-class tutorials for all his students – including kids who are absent – with an easy-to-learn piece of equipment that costs less than $200.

You can check out Jeremy’s pencasts on his math blogs below:

Pencasts are an obvious use of the smartpen that lend themselves well to areas where problems are worked (math, chemistry, physics) or where diagrams are created (industrial arts, art).  However, think outside the box a little and generate some ideas about how you could use pencasts in your classroom.

Not sure that notes are getting home with a particular students? Email a pencast to his parents so that you know they are receiving your written communications.

Are you students corresponding with pen pals? Save the money on postage by creating pen casts that you can share digitally.  In addition, students are limited to just sharing writing or email text.  They can share audio and their own personal drawings!

Tired of writing out sub notes and waiting until they get there in the morning to see if they are understood? Create a pencast of your sub notes and email them to look over beforehand (if it is a planned absence, of course – this might not always be possible).

Is a parent having troubles helping their student? Send them a pencast via email that shares ideas and describes how to implement them.

And, since I’m at a gifted conference and have been reading my book on visual spatial learners (trying to figure out how to assist my own son!)…

Let your visual spatial learners use the pen to make notes in drawings and diagrams, which you in turn upload to a pencast. Post it in a pencast and you might just find out that it assists many of the kids in your classroom that you didn’t even know were visual spatial to remembers things that were taught in an auditory fashion!  At the same time, you are giving that visual spatial learner the freedom to take notes in the way that he learns and remembers best.

What other ideas can you generate for using pencasts in your classroom?

Categories: - Educator Pencasts, Mathematics Tags: