For many of our educators, learning how to use a new program like Google Docs or Weebly can be frustrating. In fact, it's not usually the case that I need to convince them of the value of a particular aspect of technology when it comes to modern learning. The stumbling block often comes in actually using it ... at home or in the classroom when face-to-face support is not easily accessible. And while I know that YouTube if FULL of tutorial videos, sometimes, they can be overwhelming or not specific to what it is we are trying to do at our particular school.
Last year, one of my Special Education Assistants, Brigitte Massin-Ball, had really been using an iPad app called UPad to help one of our designated students integrate into the classroom. She was excited about the potential of this app helping other students in our school and wanted to share with her colleagues. So after doing the traditional format of sharing at a staff meeting, we found that people were still getting frustrated remembering all the steps. So Brigitte created a site-specific, two minute step by step video on how to get documents into the app. She took pictures of the exact buttons to push on our photocopier as well as screen shots on what the device would look like each step of the way. She put it together in an iMovie and sent it to everyone.
What I noticed about both of these examples was that creating videos specific to the needs of a particular group in a particular setting is what made them so useful. The context was obvious so the specifics of the app, program, website, etc could get out of the way faster and the real value could be discovered. So when I wanted my staff to start using Google Calendar to book our weekly iPad and COWS carts I created this short tutorial on how to do it. My hope is that taking a screen cast of exactly what they will see will make it easier for them to use this particular system to improve their workflow, allowing them more time to focus on learning for students.
Supporting staff in all ways as an educational leader is paramount. Tech integration is no exception. The use of site-specific tutorial videos is one way we are trying to do that at West Langley. Please comment and let me know how else educational leaders can support those around them when it comes to using technology to empower learning.