Video can transform any classroom. And as Karen Bowers has discovered, it is an indispensable medium for a language teacher. However, the language Karen teaches brings a unique need for video.
As the American Sign Language teacher at Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland's second-largest school system, she knows the importance of visuals for both teaching and for the students’ learning.
“American Sign Language is a visual language, rather than a spoken language, so seeing the language in action is FAR superior to the flat pictures that the textbook provides, which are often hard to read."
A library of vocabulary lessons 📚
With visuals in mind, Karen, who is also World Language Department chair at her district, turns to Screencastify to make sure that her students are able to see ASL brought to life at all times.
“Because I am a world language teacher and teaching American Sign Language, I reinforce my teaching with students by posting Screencastify videos for each set of vocabulary that I teach. These become study resources for the students in their efforts to master the target language.”
Check out the video below to see how Karen uses Screencastify for a vocabulary lesson that students are able to watch again and again!
Video for student ASL presentations 🙋
But it’s not just Karen who creates videos. Students also record videos with Screencastify in the classroom so they’re able to create and share in a very simple way without a live audience which can often cause anxiety.
“It’s super user friendly so students do not experience anxiety about navigating the program, on top of the anxiety about presenting. My students are provided a method of presenting that is oftentimes easier than a classroom presentation where everyone is "staring at me."
Karen added that the ability to practice as many times as needed and see their progress allows the students to create and share their best outcomes.
“As students make a [mistake], Screencastify makes it super easy to record again and create the best presentation possible.”
Learn more: See how Screencastify Submit makes creating student assignments simple and fun!
Video in any ASL environment 👋
The benefits that Karen sees for her American Sign Language classroom are easy to see. But it’s also the flexibility that video provides for an ASL classroom — whether it’s in-person or a blended, hybrid or flipped learning environment — or if she’s not in the classroom at all on a given day.
“One other use is to leave instructional videos for students for days when I am absent as a teacher. Sometimes the students just need a full explanation of the work left for them and [Screencastify] is an awesome tool to accomplish this goal!’”
Related: Listen below to get tips for using video in any classroom environment.
Creating music videos 👏
Karen also visualizes music for students by recording videos that help them practice for performances. Check out a video of her performance below!
“During the holidays, I create videos for the students to practice our holiday songs, which we perform for parents, staff and students, as well as nursing home visits. The students use these recordings to learn and perfect their class holiday song.”
Sign up free, bring video to your ASL classroom!
Video is an incredibly powerful tool for teachers and students in American Sign Language classes. But video can be used for any subject or classroom environment. Install Screencastify free to begin your video journey in seconds and improve learning outcomes for every student!