Creating your own classroom Khan Academy

How to set up and use a USB camera for collaborative student work.

I have been been referring parents and students to sites like Khan Academy and resource sites for years to assist them in reviewing or learning content associated with their classroom lessons.  I have now been encouraging teachers to create their own content and version of Khan Academy and store it in the cloud for parents and students to access.  I have found that if students create and view videos of students they know or of videos they are in, they are far more likely to watch it multiple times and share it with family as an enjoyable experience along with supporting learning at home.

Having students create videos of their work in class station rotations that demonstrates their understanding and then shares it with their peers is a great way to access higher orders of thinking. In this model students would create videos using simple Chrome OS tools and then can collectively comment and amend understandings while providing feedback to students. To do this you will need any USB web camera or a Chromebook with a camera. Have the students access the Chrome Application/Extension Screencastify to save the video to their Google Cloud Drive. The teacher would then make the video available to students to comment on using VideoNotes. Creating videos is also a great way to memorialize a student’s thinking process for complex equations to be able to easily identify any misconceptions and also provides for creating student created video libraries if well done for all students to access. Use Videostream and Chromecast to easily project your student videos onto your classroom Digital Whiteboard.

Linked are two of the cameras that I use to capture student and teacher interactions as an administrator.  The LifeCam seems to produce a higher definition image/sound and can be mounded on a standard camera mount where the HUE offers greater versatility in the classroom inclusive of being used as an inexpensive document camera on a self supporting stand and is Mac friendly.  Both are great cameras.

Christmas is all Shiny and Chrome.

Google’s Chromebooks Were The Best Selling Laptops At Amazon, Beating Windows And Mac Computers

Not surprising that they are being unwrapped this holiday season with kids at schools across the country being introduced to them as part of their K-12 experience.  Phenomenal move on Google’s part to open up the domains to the schools with an increased storage capacity, security of a closed network and teaching use of the applications.  My daughter kicked me off her Chromebook and started showing me all the things it can do and she has been doing educational games and activites since Christmas day.  Let’s see the XBox do that.


Flipped Learning Benefits Those With Access

Girl Sitting On Kitchen Counter With Digital TabletCould Flipped Learning be the answer for extending learning beyond the classroom for the E-12 environment? Could it be a way of engaging students at home in a media they find comforting and familiar? My deep-seeded, old-school brick and mortar mentality immediately went into shock but as I began to reflect on the benefits and observations of both my students and children I realized that this could be a powerful tool in the hands of a well-planned teacher. So often I see my students walking out the door with no books and no intention of completing even a simple assignment and wonder why are they so disengaged at home? What if we told our students to go home and watch something on their iPad, smartphone, computer or TV via a connection service such as Roku? I have no doubt that most children would have access to media even in an urban setting such as mine. As I wrote this, I daydreamed of students sitting on the 30 minute bus ride home watching the lesson, being engaged, collaborating with their classmate sitting next to them and then returning the next day prepared with background knowledge and personal experiences to share. The caveat in the success of the Flipped Classroom will be providing students with engaging, personalized and original video content that they will want to watch.iStock_000016602326XSmall

What is Flipped Learning?

“Flipped learning happens when the teacher’s lecture is delivered outside of the traditional class time, via a video students view on their own. Class time is used for active problem solving by students and one-to-one or small group tutoring with the teacher. The flipped classroom uses modern technology to create a sustainable, reproducible, and manageable environment for student-centered learning. Students can watch the short lectures as many times as they wish to grasp the content and then come to class ready to jump into the lesson, answer questions, work on collaborative projects, and explore the content further. With the transfer of foundational knowledge outside of class time, students are asked to take ownership of their own learning. Educators are able to personalize each class and increase time spent with each student.” (Source:


Flipped Learning .org


Source: A TeacherView Survey by ClassroomWindow and the Flipped Learning Network Conducted June 2012

Source: A TeacherView Survey by ClassroomWindow and the Flipped Learning Network Conducted June 2012