Friday, March 27, 2009

Jing and Wikispaces

The students in our Legal Studies Administration class and our Medical Studies Administration class have to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification test for Word. The teacher came to me and asked if I had any thoughts for how she could be a little more creative and use technology to get the students practicing the objectives and helping each other prepare for the test. After being thrilled about the invitation to plan and help, I went through many different ideas in my head that included the Flip camera she has recently purchased and her new Smartboard. I knew what I wanted to do was have the students create videos that we could put on a wiki that would be their review tool.

We finally decided on Jing, which is created by TechSmith, and is a free download for both Windows and Mac. Jing is a very simple to use tool that can create screenshots or screencasts and can then be saved as a Flash movie and emailed or uploaded.

Here was our basic plan:
  1. Students worked in groups of two and were assigned an objective from the MOS Word Certification test.
  2. Students researched and learned how to complete the objective.
  3. Students wrote a step-by-step script that they used to record their screencast.
  4. Students used Jing to record their screencasts using the scripts.
  5. Students chose best version of screencast and uploaded to a page on a class wiki that contains the video and the script.
We found the students were actively engaged in every part of the process. Because they knew that their classmates from both classes would be reviewing the videos, they made sure their videos were top quality. Hopefully we will see an increase in the MOS pass rate as they use this as a study tool.

I am happy with the results of this project, especially because over the past two years, I really was not sure I would figure out a way to help in this classroom. After this experience, I see many, many possibilities. We already have another project that will begin in the next month that includes Mixbook. Vo-Tech 2.0 is on its way!


George Mayo said...


This is awesome! Just watched a few of the videos. Very impressive. When students have to create something, for a real purpose, the stakes are raised. Especially when they know their work is going to be published online for others to see. Also, by going through the process of creating they are learning the content. I think the process is perhaps the most important aspect of a project like this. The sharing is the bonus. Good work! Looking forward to seeing your future projects.

hlvr said...

Thanks, George. I really saw quite a bit of active engagement. It was refreshing to see the students vested in something that they knew others would see. Once we told them we would probably be sharing this wiki with the school staff as a training tool, they were even more engaged. It was an amazing and confidence-boosting experience!