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Educreations

Discussion in 'General Education Discussions' started by LPH, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    Teachers in our district are starting to use the video creation website Educreations.

    Creating a simple video is extremely easy, either through an iPad or browser. Embedding the video into Moodle is also extremely easy.

    After tinkering with the site on and off for a few months, I wonder, does this technology have a chance to change public school?

    Evidence Number 1: Flipping the Classroom
    Kahn Academy uses the idea of "flipping" the classroom. Educreations may help teachers flip the classroom by allowing teachers to easily make their lecture material available on a website. Students listen to the lectures at night and practice the work during the class period.

    Evidence Number 2: Course Support
    While Educreations supports the concept of flipping the class, it also supports students who fall behind, need to re-listen to a concept, or has been absent and needs to hear the lecture the first time.

    Evidence Number 3: Practice is Good
    Some very poor teachers have a habit of just showing up and winging it. They think this is good. Actually practice is important and creating videos forces a teacher to practice and organize the material.

    If you are teacher and have not tried the site then now would be a good time to set up an account. Give it a try. Give it time to practice how to use the pen, add text, and add pictures.

    It's simple. You don't have an excuse.
     
  2. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    What you say makes sense from a teachers' view (ATV). I'd suggest ATV is not sufficient from a learners' view (ALV).

    I like your clean, direct descriptions as ATV. It reads like a traditional textbook approach to teaching in a classroom as formalized and used from about the 1900s through the 1970s plus or minus a decade or two. That's good, because, by inference, it links learning through teaching yesterday with learning that way with tomorrow.

    The current names of people and events in teaching have changed to fit online use. Educreations is an online chalkboard with the capacity to save, alter, and distribute. Kahn Academy makes online lessons available that teachers already have prepared and presented to their classes; he did the work for teachers. Flipping the Classroom is simply teacher talk for assigning homework preparation for tomorrow's lesson.

    From a learners' view, it appears that they each use, but do not acknowledge the relatively few active ingredients of learning that make it possible for learners to complete lessons successfully. Each of these websites exploit one or more weaknesses in the so called collaborative approach (teacher talk for each-one-teach-one) to schooling that fails for most learners. Of the three, Kahn most systematically applies principles of learning in his lessons. The others appear to mix nominalisms of "education" with "schooling," and both with learning.

    From the teachers' view you suggested, do my comments offer useful refinements to the online sources you cite? From your experience, how might a learners' view be used with these sites?
     
  3. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    The first word in the original post was the key, teachers. The tool described, educreations, is for teachers first. If a teacher doesn't use the tool then it will never reach the hands of the student (not synonymous with learner).

    While really unrelated to my original post, let me go through some of your suppositions.

    1. Flipping the classroom is not just simply assigning homework for tomorrow's lesson. That approach would fail and cause students to fail the course. It is flipping the lecture to the homework and the homework into the classroom. The challenge is that many teachers "wing it" and have nothing to flip. Worse, some believe handing out worksheets during the class period is teaching.

    2. Kahn most certainly did not do the work for teachers. A teacher cannot simply assign one of the videos and expect students to view it. More important, the lessons have not been compared to other lessons as a means to conclude that the Kahn lessons work. Big money is behind the Kahn videos but this doesn't mean they are valuable.

    3. Students are not learners. The government demands school attendance but does not demand learning. By middle school, it is clear to pre-teens that they do not need to know anything and they will still be passed on to the next grade. Once understood, some teens foolishly think learning is not necessary. We have a government which supports this concept because accountability measures are focused on teachers and not students. The students and family also know that a student who is not a learner can just blame the teacher.

    4. Collaboration in schools is an abject failure. This appears to be a teacher reaction to classrooms they feel are too large to handle and use grouping as a way to not lecture. Besides, learners collaborate on their own time and do not need teacher prompting.

    Let me finish by stating, educreations is not a tool for learners. Learners can read a book, read websites, go to a library, watch videos on YouTube, and even talk to primary sources. However, educreations may be a tool for the student who missed a lecture or for the student enrolled in a class in which the teacher has flipped the lecture to the homework.

    Will the ease of access to the tool prompt teachers to change their approach to the classroom, thus change public schools?
     
  4. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    Perhaps these responses are for a different thread:

    Yes, you make good points and your points appear to form a contemporary teachers' view. Historically, holding the role of student meant a registered learner who attends a school or one who studies a topic. The distinction in practice vs as an analytic category between student and learner occurred in the past decade or so. It is arguably a self serving distinction by and for educators. Yes?

    Also, if a tool is not for learners, why would it be in a school? School exist for learning, not necessarily for teaching. Schools are just buildings and Internet blather without learning occurring. Yes? If that seems snarky, I didn't mean it that way.
     
  5. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    Anyway, kudos to teachers using Educreations to make videos! Best wishes for them increasing learning of students in your classes. Please keep us updated on your progress.
     

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