Educreations in #PhysEd

blogEntryTopperLast week I was introduced to the App “Educreations”. This App is an amazing tool to bring into your classroom and/or gymnasium. Available on the iPad, Educreations allows a teacher to teach from a less direct style of teaching and even gives the students a chance to flip the class themselves. From their tables and desks, in small groups within the gymnasium or outside in the yard, Educreations allows students to create content for their peers independently from the teacher. This allows students to take turns sitting in the “teacher driver seat” all while working in small groups (which increases individual participation).

Basically, how Educreations works is by allowing you to create short presentation recordings that group clusters of ideas, concepts, photos, and notes. These presentations can be saved for later online viewing in or out of class time. Here’s how you can set up your Educreations lesson:

Step One: Create Your Educreations Account

Go to Educreations’ website and create a teacher account. This account will be used as a storage space for all of your students’ Educreation projects.

Step Two: The Tools

Make sure that you have your iPads ready and charged (nothing’s worse than an iPad dying mid-lesson). Also, be sure to have the Educreations app installed on your class’ iPads and have each app logged into your teacher account. Before the lesson, check to see if your internet connection is working and stable. Finally, make sure you have your teacher computer connected to a projector that is up and running.

Step Three: Have Students Create Their Educreation Project

Provide your students with clear instructions as to what they are to research/present. For example, here in Nova Scotia, grade 10 students are expected to investigate career opportunities related to the field of exercise science. Each group could be assigned a certain career path (e.g. physiotherapy, athletic training, etc), or you could have groups choose their own career path based on the group’s common interests. The teacher would then provide certain criteria that needs to be included in the final presentation.

Once groups have their topic and know their evaluation criteria, they can perform research using the iPad and then put together a brief resume of what they discovered using the Educreations app.

Students can record their presentation, and then save it to the teacher’s account. Make sure to have students include their names in the presentation description.

Step Four: Student Presentations

Once the students have saved their Educreation to the teacher’s account, the teacher will then be able to play their recording on the projector. Your students can watch each short Educreations presentation, without anybody needing to step up and present in front of the class. This might encourage some people who might be timid when it comes to public speaking to jump on the opportunity to share their opinion through the Educreations presentation (especially if the topic is one that interests them!)

Step Five: Assessment

Once the students have submitted their Educreations to the teacher’s account, the teacher then will have online access to those presentations for assessment purposes.

Presentations can also be emailed, tweeted, shared on Facebook page, or posted on your teacher blog. This accessibility can allow students to project something they are proud of for their friends to see and can even serve for a future assignment piece in another year or another class.

Educreations is a really cool tool to try out when starting a unit such as nutrition, cooperative games, or even dance. The use of small groups and assistive technology can allow students to share ideas and raise points they already know prior to starting the unit. In one sense, Educreations can serve as a great pre-reading assessment tool for finding out what your students already know.

Something To Consider

Before starting an Educreations lesson, your students should have a good knowledge of how to perform internet research on the iPad and how to navigate their way around the Educreations app. Spending a lesson teaching your students how to do these things properly may seem time-consuming at first, but will pay off in the long run.

Check out Educreations and let me know what you think about the software and accessibility it creates within the learning environment. Also, let me know in the comments below how you would incorporate Educreations into your PE classes. Trust me, it is a really cool and useful tool.

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