The first session that I attended was Using Technology to Transform Students' Problem-Solving Experiences and Perspectives. The presentation was true to the title with many good examples used by the presenters in their classrooms. (I will try to post about these in more detail later.) What I found most interesting was the idea of using the green screen feature in Photo Booth to embed learners into their problem-solving efforts.
I decided to try this for myself, and the result is provided below. Unfortunately, for some reason, my work in the background kept fading in and out. This was especially bad whenever I moved my arms to gesture at particular points. That is why I used my eyes and head to focus the viewer's attention in the video:
In the second session, Using Screen-Capture Movies to Assess Quadrilateral Constructions in Sketchpad, presenters showed how they used Geometer's Sketchpad and Jing to share learners' efforts to explore quadrilateral properties. This session was especially appropriate since I assigned my MTH 329 class a Shape Maker Lab before I left for the conference. The final unit of the course is on teaching geometry and now I had another way to make my thinking visible in this content area.
The Jing software only allows for five minutes of video so it took several tries to get my timing down. I like that this feature forces the person doing the think aloud to consolidate his or her thinking to a reasonable length, but it does require some planning and practice. Using Sketchpad's redo command helped to make the initial construction go more quickly. I did the construction and then undid it without Jing running. And then I hit "redo" multiple times while Jing was recording until the initial construction was complete. Only the dynamic exploration at the end was completely "live" during the video:
Given that these think alouds using technology are my first attempts, I am happy with the results. However, I know that with more experience and support they can be improved. In fact, that is what we will be considering in MTH 329 tomorrow - glows and grows for these reasoning recounts. As always, your comments are welcome as well.