Math Teacher uses New Technology to Reduce Student Anxiety & Build Confidence

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There's something very special about speaking to an enthusiastic teacher who loves what they do. That’s why when we interviewed Stacey Roshan, we came away feeling empowered and positive.

Stacey is the Director of Innovation & Educational Technology at Bullis School in Maryland, USA. She's passionate about using innovative technology in the classroom to create a safe learning environment for all students to find their voice and build confidence.

We asked her about the integration of technology in her lessons, and her thoughts on engaging students with video.

Here’s what Stacey had to say...

How long have you been using VideoScribe?

I created my first VideoScribe in 2013. Funnily enough, the first VideoScribe project I created was “A #FlipClass Welcome” to explain the “why” behind my flipped classroom model to parents at back-to-school night.

What do you like the most about VideoScribe?

In creating a project in VideoScribe, I always start by sketching out my story. I love that VideoScribe provides a blank white canvas for this as opposed to most other programs which work as slides. In using VideoScribe, I find that I can more creatively tell my story by zooming in and out of sections of the canvas. This initial laying out of my story on the blank white canvas is a critical component in discovering how I want my message to unfold and areas I want to bring emphasis to.

“As an educator, there is a lot of power in pairing text with visuals.”

The process of sketching a story in this way requires the synthesizing and summarizing of information in an intentional and concise manner. In creating a handwriting animation-style video, it is painfully obvious when you are using too much text.

“In using VideoScribe, I find that I can more creatively tell my story by zooming in and out of sections of the canvas.”

As an educator, there is a lot of power in pairing text with visuals. VideoScribe has a large library of sketched drawings and you can pull any image into your project. Research shows that having students associate new knowledge with a visual helps retain knowledge in long-term memory.

Do you think the tool is intuitive?

There isn't a steep learning curve to getting started with VideoScribe. Since drawing is not a strength of mine, I am often looking for tools to help me unleash some of my creative energy. VideoScribe has done wonders for helping me bring these designs to life. One thing I love about VideoScribe is that it's possible to create an entire video without needing any other editor. The zoom and pan, voice over, ordering and reordering of pieces of information, background music, and timing of animations is all done directly through VideoScribe.

We know you like to incorporate other technology into the classroom - usually video. What do you like most about using video?

I want my students to have fun in the process of learning and to gain a new appreciation for math. The flipped classroom model allowed me to shift my classroom to a more participatory learning environment almost immediately. I was able to offload the very teacher-driven lecture to video and create the time and space for collaborative problem solving, discussion, and individualized support during class time.

“Embracing technology has allowed me to bring a new level of compassion and empathy to my teaching.”

Tech tools such as Edpuzzle give me valuable insight into individual learners’ needs before students even walk into the classroom so that I can further personalize what happens during class time. Embracing technology has allowed me to bring a new level of compassion and empathy to my teaching. In the classroom, it is about listening in on student’s conversations; by hearing them talk, I can zone in on individual and group needs and connect with each learner in my classroom in a way that was not possible before.

We are passionate about engaging our audience. What do you do in the classroom to keep your students engaged?

It’s hard to keep focus on a video when somebody is just talking and nothing is happening in the background. I like text to pop up on the screen to focus the viewer on critical words and themes. I’ve found VideoScribe to be one of the simplest ways to create an engaging video when I am trying to get a powerful message across.

“I’ve found VideoScribe to be one of the simplest ways to create an engaging video when I am trying to get a powerful message across.”

For the math videos that I create for my students to watch on a daily basis, I keep things much simpler and create a screencast where I work through problems, step-by-step. I use a Wacom Tablet so that I am able to digitally ink.

Here again, though, I think it is important for something to be happening on the screen. Simply speaking over a presentation of static slides would not create a similar interactive, comprehensible experience for students. I always handwrite my math solutions as I explain concepts in creating videos for my students. I think there is great power in students seeing me write as I talk. I would never walk into a classroom with a bunch of equations already written on the board and just point to them as I talk over a solution and expect students to fully follow what I am saying. Rather, we do this process together. And I try and do this same type of thing in creating videos.

Whether in a face to face classroom or in a video, we start with a blank canvas and build the solution together. As I write, I explain. Students are doing the same on their paper. So we are thinking through the process together. With written text, I turn to VideoScribe to accomplish this goal.

Check out how Stacey uses VideoScribe alongside other tech tools to create an inclusive classroom environment that works for all student learning styles. 

 

 

Stacey’s work has been featured in USA Today, CNN, The Washington Post and PBS Newshour. Follow her on Twitter @buddyxo and read her blog TechieMusings. For more on this topic, look out for her book, Tech With Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, and Create Compassionate Classrooms, which will be released this spring.

 

stacey

 

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