Flipping the classroom seems to hold great promise for educators to free up more time in the classroom. In order to get the content for the students to review at home, it must first be recorded. There are many platforms that will record and do a great job of it. However, many of them cost hundreds of dollars. What if you could get started for the low, low cost of nothing! Educreations is a recordable interactive whiteboard that captures your voice, handwriting, typed text, and images. It’s like a video of your chalkboard or smart board. The final product is a video based lesson that you can share with students hosted on the Educreations website. When you finalize your video, you can mark it as private, viewable only by your students or wide open for the world to see and enjoy. Your lessons can be developed either from an iOS device or directly from the web. All of this for…wait for it…free!!!
Once you have set up an account with Educreations, you can then give your students access to any particular class by providing them a course code or a direct link to the video. The cool thing about this software is that no longer is it only for educators to provide content to their students. Students can create their own accounts. You can then assign them topics to develop as instructional modules. Visit cardiovascular anatomy for an example of how one instructor used Educreations during a lecture. I once assigned a paramedic class the assignment of explaining the Starling principle via video. The catch was that they couldn’t use any medical terminology. The resulting videos were as educational as they were hilarious!
Educreations works for educators who can create a video of a lesson one time, rather than having to deliver it to every student individually. An additional benefit is that the instructor can record both voice and screen captures as the lesson is being delivered. It turns any projector into a smart board with the addition of the VGA converter cord to connect to the projection system.
Educreations stores all students’ videos in a private mode. This means that they are visible only to the student and their instructor. There is an option by which students can share by copying the URL.
One aspect that most instructors look for in an application is whether or not it is easily used by the students. Most teachers say that Educreations is fairly straightforward to incorporate into the daily use by their students. Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry professor in California says that he starts his classes with a challenge question which he solves using Educreations. He then uploads the finished video to his website creating an archive of solved problems so his students can refer back when they get stuck. The same principle would work well in classes involving drug calculations or scenario based questioning for EMS students.
Visit this link to see what one instructor did with a cardiac anatomy and physiology creation. Keep in mind that this is a very basic screen recording software. It does have several limitations. For one, the whole video has to be made in one take – no do-overs. Many instructors want an editing tool, as well as an erasure tool. These are not yet available, but will be at some point say the developers.
Educreations provides a simple low cost method for those instructors who want to test the waters of flipping their classroom. Other screen recording software provides many more options, but I would suggest you wait and use a free app until you get comfortable with recording. Educreations allows you to do this.