After spending several frustrating hours trying to find online help videos which clearly explain simple SMARTboard tips, I decided this week it would just be easier all round if I made my own. I am sure there are many fabulous videos already made but sifting through the many that are not clearly explained or simply structured, has convinced me that was not worth my time. Plus the chance to learn a new skill which I could then transfer to my classroom is one I couldn’t turn down.
So I’ve been playing this weekend, playing with Camtasia. Playing and learning how to create screencasts. I have found the learning process both enjoyable and frustrating. Enjoyable because I love a challenge and frustrating because it has taken me several hours to get the hang of everything and to produce a screencast with which I am satisfied. My first attempts seemed to zoom in and out missing vital parts of the screen and it took me several goes to realise I could adjust the screen view within Camtasia. Having grasped the intricacies of what is really a simple to use and intuitive program, I am away. This morning while the house was quiet I created my first three screencasts, uploaded them to vimeo and inserted them into my techie brekkie blog ready for a staff training session next week called ‘Smartboard tips and tricks’.
As I was doing all of this I reflected on the notion of learning through play and wondered why I do not seem to be able to fit more of this type of learning into my school days. I blogged earlier this year on how I feel I am always rushing. How I feel I am always trying to keep up, keep up with my program, keep up with my lesson plans and with the curriculum? The only time this year that my students have really had the chance to play has been in a suddenly free half an hour when I let them create get well cards for the much love Mrs P, who is sick. I blogged at year6rc about how much fun they had and how even this short session demonstrated so many of the teamwork and thinking qualities I try to promote.
The Australian curriculum is stuffed full of vital subjects that must be taught. Of outcomes and indicators that must be reached and topics that must be covered. Every day I fight a losing battle with my program, cutting lessons to fit everything in. Even though I do that I worry that we do not reflect enough, it concerns me that it is just so hard to find the time to stop and think about our learning. As I have been playing and learning with Camtasia it has reminded me too that my students may be in year six but they need time to play. They need time to play with online tools, time to play with hands on materials, time to play and time to learn.
Do you find the time for your students to learn through play? And if so how do you manage it?
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