Sound

Sound and video are two important and necessities needed to make the flipped or blended classroom successful. Whether you choose to create videos and upload them or utilize the large number of videos found on the internet, sound and video are essential. As teachers, we know that not everyone learns the same way. Some students learn by listening to lectures, while others learn better by watching the instructor provide examples. Still, other students learn better by practicing. For blended or flipped classrooms, students are assigned videos to watch on their own time and instructed to take notes and write down any questions they may have for the following day. When a student watches a video, he or she has the power to pause and rewind the video as many times as necessary for the content to make sense.

For recording voice, I prefer to use a program called Audacity. For recording video, you need more than just video-recording software. You need a camera of some sort (web cam, digital camera, camcorder, etc.), a video editor, and possibility screen capture software. Screen capture software was previously discussed elsewhere, so this will focus on Audacity for voice recording, and a video editor such as Adobe Premiere Pro.

Audacity is a program which allows an individual to record and edit multiple tracks on platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Apple Products and is free to use for personal, commercial, institutional, or educational purposes (http://www.audacityteam.org/). As a stand-alone product, I do not believe Audacity is not a solid teaching tool. Using Audacity in conjunction with video editing software will turn your classroom into a blended or flipped class if that is your goal.

Another piece of software that will help create a blended or flipped classroom is video editing software. I prefer Adobe Premiere Pro because I am familiar with it and I have a monthly subscription to Creative Cloud. However, there are useful free trail video editors such as Camtasia. Camtasia is free to use for 30 days after which you would need to purchase it for $200, and $99 for upgrades when they become available. Adobe Premiere Pro also has a trail version which you can use for a month before you pay $20 to $40 a month for creative cloud. However, by providing proof of institutional affiliation, you can pay $20 a month for the entire suite. As far as I know Adobe Premiere Pro does not allow you the capability to record your screen. However, Camtasia does allow this function. For ease of use in that respect, I would go with Camtasia. If you are looking at price points alone, I would stick with creative cloud. If you are familiar with one Adobe product, it is not difficult to learn how to utilize other adobe products.

The editing software itself does not have any educational value unless the classes you are teaching are in digital film editing. Nonetheless, using programs in conjunction with each other to create a final product will influence the outcome of your student learning. As I have stated previously, students can watch a video as many times as they need to cement the concept into their mind. If the video is going too fast, they can pause the video to write notes and questions for the next day’s class. The creator of the video can scaffold problems throughout the video. For example, math problems come in all different ways. The creator can have a beginning, intermediate, and advance section to their video or create three videos to cater to all the students.

Special considerations to consider range from the student’s ability to watch a video outside of class, the skills it takes to create videos, and the software and hardware requirements to use these programs. I do not think copyright becomes an issue unless you use sound bits and music that is not your own; however, I teach mathematics so most of my videos would deal mainly with the math problem which would just entail me explaining and illustrating how to solve problems. To solve the issue of a student’s inability to watch a video outside of class, one could allow students to stay after school to show them the video. However, most, if not all, students have smart phones with WI-FI or data access which would allow them to watch the video. Furthermore, learning new problems takes time and practice. Additionally, you want to make sure that your current computer set up can process video and you have an internet connect that allows for uploads.