Monday, 31 October 2011

Teacher on demand – The ICT-resource for you!?

Teacher on demand is a web site started in 2008 as a school project in Falköping`s municipality together with the University of Skövde. It is an on-line program and it is free to use.
On this web site teachers show their self-produced films with short lessons or sequences in different subjects. It is also possible for students to publishing their works on “Teacher on demand” to share it with other students.
The main purpose with “Teacher on demand” is giving students more opportunities to achieve their goals, making it easier for teachers to reach out to students and their parents, as well as giving parents more opportunities to help their children.
The web site is easy to use. There is an instructional film which guides you through and shows you the possibilities with the site.

What you need to make it work
If you want to look at a film on Teacher on demand, you need a computer connected to the internet. It is also possible for you to download the films on your IPhone or IPod.
If you want to create a film, there is a free download of the software Camstudio, which allows you to record all screen and audio activity on your computer. The film can also be made in Moviemaker. If you run into trouble, there is a support on “Teacher on demand” which is available for you.

How the resource can be used by teachers
As a teacher you can create an account, make a video record of your lesson and transfer your video file to “Teacher on demand”. This gives your students the opportunity to see your lesson, or a sequence of it, repeatedly. This ensures the possibility of your students viewing your lesson even if they are not present.
Another possibility is using other teacher`s films on your lesson as a teaching aid. It saves time not producing your own materiel. So far there are in the English subject mostly films about grammar, but there are also informative films about eg the seasons, the alphabet and about London.
You can also use the films for your own inspiration.
If your students are working with a project in English you can download their work in the category “students’ production” to make it available for other students.

How the resource can be used by the students
If a student has difficulties in a topic the films are available for him or her to watch as many times as needed. Furthermore, you often find films in the same topic made by different teachers. If a student finds a teacher`s film who describes a topic in a way that makes him or her understand it better, the student can subscribe to those films and download them via ITunes to their IPod or IPhone.
I believe “Teacher on demand” facilitates the students learning as it will help them achieve their goals. In addition, skilled students can be inspired to reach higher grades by watching different films on different levels or be challenged to produce their own film. In that way, they may make a bigger effort to achieve. Their teacher only needs to log in and publish the film in the category “student production”.

Other considerations when using this resource
Before you start using “Teacher on demand” you should take a look at the instructional film which guides you through the web site.
If you cooperate with a school or a teacher in another country you can link films to them. In turn, they have the possibility to publish their films on “Teacher on demand”.
Hopefully there will be more English films available in the future. So far, the most films are as mentioned about grammar.
One problem that may prevent teachers from producing films is the access to or the knowledge of ICT tools. If you do have the equipment, do not hesitate to ask the students for help with the technical parts as they often have high computer skills.

Jeanette Karlsson

1 comment:

  1. It was nice to read about a project done by enthusiastic teachers in municipalities so close to me. I think "Teacher on Demand" is a good idea and could absolutely be a useful ICT-tool for me. The thought of a student, who is not present, could look at a lecture at home or in school afterwards, is attractive. The student who does not understand can look again and again until he or she does. The site has not so many films yet and the reason could for instance be that it takes some time to produce a post or on resistance against to allow others to hear one's voice. It's great to see that one also can add student-produced films. Most films are about grammar and that depends probably on that grammar is so theoretical and that fits in this form of exposure and that grammar is something the students often needs to repeat a couple of times to be able to understand. Next time when I'll teach something such as word classes, I intend to take a look at the website “Teacher on demand” to see if there is anything useful as a complement to my own survey. Even though, I´m afraid that I am not ready to post something I done and with my own voice yet, not even when I speak Swedish.

    Elisabeth Wikström