Most recorded classroom visits produce a view of what goes on in the class and not much more. Insight Advance Feedback takes the idea a step further with the ability to annotate the video and provide insight into a teacher’s personal and professional development. In addition to adding notes directly on the video stream about various techniques or student interactions, the software can identify goals. Insight Advance is delivered over the Web, works on a variety of platforms and doesn’t require any special software. After a $3,500 setup and training fee, the service costs $95 per user per year (unlimited observations/videos); there’s a free 30-day trial.
A great first step when trying to put together a multimedia lesson plan should be the iTunes For Educators page. It has thousands of lessons that range from a course in creating stop-action animation to algebra projects that can enhance learning. It’s all arranged by topic and you can search on things like cyberbullying. Most of the resources are free, but some require a small charge and require that you have the free iTunes U app running on your pad.
What principal hasn’t wanted to talk directly to students via an in-house TV network or have kids read the morning news to the entire school. NewTek’s TriCaster Mini lets them do it on a tight budget. The $8,000 Mini is a complete AV set up that includes an integrated display and enough storage space for 45-hours of video, but you will need to supply your own camera. You can do anything from a standard talking head in front of a green-screen artificial landscape to animation and complex transitions or playing a slide show. Anything can be sent to YouTube or several social media outlets and TriCaster Mini can even accommodate a video feed from a remote Web cam or Web site.
Got something on your tablet, phone or notebook that you want on the classroom’s big screen? Ematic’s $30 MediaBeam can get it from one place to the other. It works with Android, iOS, Mac and PC systems and plugs right into a monitor, TV or projector’s HDMI port. It can mirror what’s on the host system’s display while sending along the system’s audio track.