Saturday, January 2, 2010


There are a lot of happenings going on right now with health and physical education in the news that I'll be writing about over the next week or two. The most recent issue of Educational Leadership is filled with articles about the coordinated school health program, school lunch programs, and other similar topics. I'm working on getting a copy of the journal, so for now here's something I use in my classroom. Also, check the comments on my last post for some additional info on the article by Jay Mathews.

Technology is rapidly changing the way teachers reach their students in the classroom. As younger teachers work their way into the working word, they bring with them podcasts, blogs, and numerous other interactive media and technology. Many students are knowledgeable about the world wide web, iPods, downloading, and basically any technology out there. For the most part, they grow up in a digital world. SMART boards have replaced black boards, and cell phones provide instant communication anywhere in the world.

I am lucky to be in a district where I can use technology in my classroom frequently. My most recent discovery, thanks to our technology specialist, is Jing. Jing is a free, downloadable screencasting software you may have seen used before without knowing what it is. Screencasting software is used anytime someone wants to record a video and narration of their computer screen. It's often used in tech tutorials and "how to" videos on sites like YouTube.

Jing is a free download available for Mac or PC. Teachers can record at school or at home and share the video as a download or through a URL. The free version provides 2GB of space users can use to upload their videos to an account on the site, Screencast. Users can always download their videos and burn them to CDs if the 2GB starts to run out. Videos on the free version are limited to five minutes in length.

There are countless ways to use Jing in the classroom. A world history teacher could record an animation found online showing the rise of the Roman Empire, all while providing narration emphasizing key points from class. An English teacher may go through a Power Point slide by slide, repeating the lecture from class that day. A librarian can record herself going through steps of the research process. The possibilities are endless!

Embedded below is a brief example of Jing that I made, so you can see how it works. For this, I simply put up a video on how to access the Blast Off Game, which my sixth graders enjoy for a review of the food groups, and embedded it into this blog entry. If this was for school, I would post a link to the online homework calendar set up by my district for students to access at home. I made this one on a whim, so I speak a little quickly. My apologies!


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