Get happy: TechSmith’s annual ScreencastCamp is just three weeks away! One of the coolest things about ScreencastCamp is that it brings together people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to meet. It’s a can’t-miss chance to get to know people with similar interests, and to learn something new!
This week we’re getting to know the #ladygeeks, Shari Sloane and Katie Regan. Shari and Katie met by chance at an education conference in New York and became fast friends due to their passion for and understanding of technology. Together they host the web show #ladygeeks where they discuss a variety of geeky goodies, generally with a focus on engaging students and fostering innovation through the use of technology. Check out their bios and interview below, and learn more about this year’s campers by checking out our interview with Lori Banaszak and subscribing for further updates!
Shari Sloane has been teaching high school English in the Rochester City School District since 1998. Always interested in and adventurous with technology, Shari joined her district’s Information Technology team in 2010 as an Education Technology Professional Development Instructor. She is presently passionate about iOS, gadgets, social networking for small businesses and educational technology.
Katie Regan has been teaching English in the Central New York area since 2005. Katie is passionate about taking risks in technology innovation in the classroom to prepare students for their future and engage all children in learning. She presents and facilitates workshops, professional development, and technology classes for teachers and other colleagues. Katie is presently working with and passionate about social media, Google apps for Ed (#GAFE) and scripts (#GSCriptChat), HTML, iPads, iOS, screencasting, video editing and much, much more. Her career aspiration is one in which she is the “yes” man. Oh, and taking over the world. Can’t forget that.
An Interview with Katie And Shari
How did you two meet?
We met at an annual educational conference hosted by NYSCATE four years ago. We attended the same workshop on web 2.0 tools in the classroom. The instructor was demonstrating Edmodo, and Katie had Moodle on her screen (Shari was sitting behind and to the left of her). Shari saw that Katie was using Moodle and got really excited; Moodle uber-users utilizing it to the caliber we were are very few and far between. Support is limited. We started to chat about it and gave each other tips and helped each other figure out problems with the LMS that had been nagging us for a while. Katie was presenting a session on Moodle the following morning, and Shari came to heckle help. We had amazing chemistry from that very first day.
Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube!
How did you discover the magic of screencasting? What does it make easier for you?
Katie – I was using something else, I can’t remember, probably screenr. I went to a SUNY Conference in Technology to present and heard about Jing. When I got back, I decided to test it out before I even knew what flipping instruction was. I loved creating mini lessons for my students with it, so I went nuts. I made all my writing lessons available to my 7th grade students on my website. Parents loved it too; they knew exactly what I had taught that day and how to help their children do their homework. When a student was absent, they could just access the lesson online and then seek extra help if still needed. Now I use it primarily for flipped instruction and project-based learning at the high school level. Students can learn new things at their own pace while I act more as a facilitator. I also use it to help teach my colleagues how to use technology. That includes anything from Moodle, to Remind101, to our grade book system. I also work with Shari and another teacher, Dave, to coflip instruction. We (the #ladygeeks) use screencasting to supplement what we teach in our shows and record our shows as a backup to Google Hangout.
Shari – I’m pretty sure I first heard of “Flipping” the classroom at the November 2011 NYSCATE conference. But I first discovered Screencasting while teaching SmartBoard PD. I knew the recorder recorded my Smart Notebook lesson, but when I realized that it recorded virtually ANYTHING on my screen, I was truly inspired. I soon created some screencasts to assist students with the New York State ELA Regent’s Exam. Screencasting and Flipping the Classroom has allowed me more time to offer my students individualized attention and individualized instruction.
Is there a presentation you’re hoping to see or give at Screencast Camp?
We’re not really sure what the participants will dream up… We would like to be inspired to try some innovative uses for screencasting in the classroom. And we would love to see some other educators’ methods for organizing, implementing and assessing their screencasts – and not just in the math classroom.
What has been your most standout/memorable/exciting moment in terms of using screencast in the classroom?
The freedom it gives us to work one-on-one with students is amazing. Students have said to us this year that they love having access to our screencasts because it allows them to watch it over and over again, work at their own pace, and then be able to ask more specific questions in class regarding their personal work. It allows us to individualize and differentiate students’ instruction that much more.
What inspired the creation of #Ladygeeks?
We knew that our combined passion for technology and personal relationship were a rarity, and we had always remained focused on sharing that knowledge and passion with others. So we needed a hashtag… obviously. A couple weeks before the annual NYSCATE conference, the #ladygeeks were official… we even had t-shirts printed. We soon realized that we were onto something special. Shari was into podcasts and the idea of our own edutech show just came to fruition. We met up with some people that were wondering what we were all about. Interestingly enough, we branded ourselves before we really knew what we wanted to do with it. But the chemistry we have together and the enthusiasm we have for sharing what we know and learning new things helped us to envision what we do now.
Do you have a favorite summer camp activity?
Makin’ s’mores! Sitting around a fire with good friends and just having a good time. Beers.