Friday, January 23, 2015

Clone Yourself to Multiply Your Influence

Have you ever wished you could be in 2 places at the same time? How great would it be to clone yourself? Luckily, with the technology we have today, we are able to (somewhat) clone ourselves.

I am an Apple Foundations Trainer for our district, and I have been "meaning to" create how-to videos for our students and staff using the "new" iMovie 10.0 application for MacBook and iMovie for iOS 8. Unfortunately, how-to videos typically get lowered on the To-Do list! Luckily, I had a few teachers, an iCoach (thanks +Ramona Towner), and a conference to push me to get these videos done.

I observed 4th and 5th grade students at Emerson School creating an iMovie, but most of the students were lacking in the technology skills to create a movie with video clips, voiceover, copyright free images, background images, and other special effects like picture in picture and cutaway. I told the teacher I could update my student and teacher friendly how-to videos on my YouTube Channel and in my iTunes Course to assist his class. I had a hard time getting started, until iCoach +Ramona Towner kept reminding me the teacher was waiting! While it took me several hours over winter break and beyond to create the videos, I was able to help teach these 4th grade students how to use the updated applications without physically having to be present!

A week after I finished the MacBook videos I needed a push to work on the iOS screencasts... We received a district email about a colleague who's husband passed away.  I reached out to her to send my condolences, prayers, and strength to help her through this difficult time. I ended my email telling her to reach out to me if she needed anything. Within a few hours, she replied, "Yes! I'm working on CBL projects with my students and while I'm out the next few days I want instruction to continue while I'm not there." She continued by saying the end product for the CBL projects was to create a movie and her students' technology skills were all over the place. .... "Can you come teach my classes how to use the updated iMovie Applications?" she pleaded. "They need some teacher directed instruction." (What a dedicated teacher!)

Of course, I jumped right in to help. Unfortunately I could not physically be at each class, so I worked with the sub to do what we could. I arrived at 4th period ready with my YouTube Playlist and hoping the middle school students wouldn't scare me away! ; )  I taught the class the first few steps starting with curating free to use/share photos & organizing them in iPhoto. During this time, I had the sub listen closely so she could repeat the lesson with the next class while also using the videos. I survived Day 1, but needed to start preparing for Day 2. The 8th grade students at Freedom Middle School have 1/2 iPads and 1/2 MacBooks, I needed to finish my iOS 8 screencasts! I stayed up real late to get the next playlist done, so it was ready for class the next day.

Overall I was able to physically teach 3 out of 6 classes how to share what they've learned using iMovie to tell their story. All the students were able to work at their own pace watching the playlists, and several of them finished their movies at home. It's inspiring to know that 6+ hours of work can stretch beyond what you could ever imagine.

On January 17th, I was scheduled to present Up the SAMR Ladder with iMovie Storytelling at SAMRi Camp in Downers Grove, IL. During an hour breakout session, you can only teach so much. Luckily, my iMovie Screencasts for Mac and iOS were complete! I was able to teach what we had time for, and direct the group to the videos so they could go back and watch them later.

It's amazing what a Mac, an iPad, QuickTime, iMovie, and YouTube can do... I created 19 screencasts in 2 weeks. These applications helped me reach a classroom of 4th grade students, 6 middle school classrooms, a group of teachers, and whoever else happen to stumble upon them. One month later these videos have 1,052 YouTube views! Further, they were all posted in my iTeach Above the Line iTunes U course, so my 1,591 subscribers were able to access the videos too!

The next time you're trying to be in 2 places at once, think about creating some screencasts to CLONE yourself and share them out with your broader EdTech Community!