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Camtasia, Jing & Snagit – Great tools for educators from TechSmith

In my last post “How to become a Google Apps EDU Certified Trainer” I mentioned using Camtasia, a TechSmith product. It made me reflect on their outstanding products and how I use them in my different roles in Education.

As an Educator, I find myself consistently using software from TechSmith. I have used Camtasia for the last two years at school and Jing for at least that long. In my experience, their software is simple to use with outstanding results.

As a teacher and Technology Coordinator for the Le Grand High School District, I use Jing to quickly take screen-shots and screen-captures to help my students and staff. If I need to easily show someone where the submit button is on the screen or how to reserve a room using Google Calendar, Jing is the software I open. With a few clicks I can quickly take a screen-shot or a screen-capture, save and upload it, and have a URL to email or post for students or teachers to view. I find myself also using Jing more and more for twitter to help answer questions or to ask my own questions.

As a Google Certified Teacher and a Google Certified Trainer I have had the opportunity to be a Lead Learner (presenter) for professional development sessions for educators from around the world.  I have found Snagit to have that professional polish for taking screen-shots to add to my presentations. Snagit is as simple to use as Jing but with some great added features, like drop shadows and transparency to name a couple.

As a blogger and an online teacher, I find Camtasia Studio to be a wonderful tool. Camtasia allows me to make great how-to videos and simply save them locally or send them to Youtube to be published to the world or my class. For on-line courses it’s a must have. I can show and explain the process the students need to perform simply, with no confusion. As a blogger some of my most viewed posts are ones with screen-captures demonstrating cool applications or software. Again, TechSmith makes things easy in Camtasia just like in Jing and Snagit, but still gives you the added features to take your screen-capture productions to the next level.

TechSmith has an Education Community and an Education Blog for more information on using their products in Education.  I would love to hear how others are using these products or similar ones in their classrooms.  Please use the comments below and be sure to leave a link to your How-to’s.

(Full discloser, I have been using Jing and Camtasia for two plus years and was recently given a copy of Jing Pro, Snagit, and Camtasia Studio for free from TechSmith through the Google Certified Teachers group.)

Update: Here are some tweets with links to great examples of TechSmith Products in Education;

DeputyMitchell David Mitchell – @iteachag I don’t have ‘How to’ but my 10 year olds do!http://bit.ly/cUfm4z and this is Thomas: A must watch http://bit.ly/fkoe1O

ianaddison Ian Addison  – @iteachag http://www.stjohnthebaptistprimary.co.uk under staff. @baggiepr‘s are on www.ictvideohelp.co.uk

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Teaching, Tech Tid Bit

 

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Do you coach to teach or just to win?

Morning line up of judging teams at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Another year of CDE’s or career development events are finished. This past Saturday (May 2) was the California State FFA Finals held at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.   I have talked about CDE’s before in my posts (http://tinyurl.com/d7k8og) and I feel they are very important to our FFA programs across the state and nation. The question I have to ask is: Do you coach to teach or just to win? Don’t get me wrong; I have a strong competitive nature and I really like to win, but is that the only purpose to these contests?

I teach at a small high school of about 500 students. Of that, around 350 of the students are members of the FFA.  Not all are active members.  In a good year we have up to 100 actives. We are in a rural community, but most of our students live in town and we do not have a school farm.  That being said, there is only a small population of students that are able to have substantial SAE’s (Supervised Agricultural Experiences or, simply, put an Ag project or job).  The rest of the students that want to be active in the program are able to be involved in leadership events and/or CDE’s (or more fondly called judging teams).  If I had to guess I would think that it this way for quite a few FFA Chapters and Agriculture Departments throughout the state.

CDE’s are great activities for students to be involved in and are part of the three circles of agricultural education: Classroom, FFA, and SAE’s.  These contest are directly related to the FFA but we need to remember that these contest are tied to the agricultural classroom and possibly a student’s SAE.  The numerous contests that our students are involved in are designed to teach them a useful skill that could possibly lead them to a career in the area they are participating.  I push my students to do the best job they can at the contests; we all like to win of course.  We are in the business of teaching and more importantly teaching by using Agriculture as our medium.  The thing I always try to remember is that this is a learning experience for my students.  If my students can do better at each contest or learn from each contest I think the students have grown.   Students can have an off day, sure we are probably not happy, but think about the teachable moment that can make.   Why do we coach these CDE teams?  Is it to become State and possibly National Champions or is it to give our students the best learning opportunities possible.  If my team is the next State Champion or if they are 25th in the State, if they have learned and grown throughout the process, I think I have succeeded in my job.  And hey, there is always next year.  So I ask you again: Do you coach to teach or just to win?

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2009 in Teaching

 

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