Kim Nidy of North Canton City School District is a strong believer of the TPACK model which identifies three types of knowledge for educators needed for successful edtech integration: technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge.
Ensuring that every teacher is on track with the “technology” piece of this model is a primary focus for the Director of Technology at the Ohio district. Her goal: avoid simply pushing teachers off of what she describes as a “digital cliff” (listen to Kim discuss the digital cliff and TPACK model further in this episode of EdTech Heroes).
She does this by providing frictionless tools like Screencastify so teachers can stay focused on the pedagogical and content aspects of TPACK and create the best learning environments for students. That also means avoiding “shiny new tools” without a purpose or goals.
“What I've been trying to shift toward is helping teachers to stop worrying about technology,” she said. “Technology should be the piece that empowers the pedagogy piece and helps you to get your content across to students — tell me what you need, and I'll make sure you have the tool and that you're trained.”
Nidy must also be selective with tools that must meet differing needs and match the varying skill levels of educators. There are more than 300 K-12 teachers in the North Canton City district who need to create video-based learning for about 4,200 students (who also create their own videos) spread across seven school buildings. The tools must also be affordable enough to fit a tight district budget.
💻 Simplicity in Screencastify
North Canton City School District implemented Screencastify Record and Edit in 2019, and the tools have continued to be an extremely powerful tool through 2020 and today as teachers and students have returned to a more traditional classroom setting.
As a teacher of 20 years herself, Kim immediately saw the value of Screencastify as a learning tool for students. When she saw that many teachers already leveraged the tools, she secured a district-wide license that gave Record and Edit access to every teacher and student.
“We had some teachers who were already using it and knew it was going to be a useful tool for kids and for teachers and could see us growing with it,” she said. “So we took advantage of the professional development sessions and in the spring of 2020 when we went on remote learning, it was almost like we were clairvoyant that we had purchased this. We saw usage go through the roof!”
However, according to Kim, the most value from Screencastify lies in the many ways it has changed student-teacher interactivity and how the district’s students learn, including:
- 🙋 Increased student engagement
- 👩🏫 New opportunities for re-teaching and reinforcing concepts
- 👏 Creating authentic content that motivates students
- 🎥 Student-created videos that empower creativity
- 🔬 Deeper, self-paced dives into content
- 💯 Problem-solving demonstrations that walk through their learning
Once teachers and students saw this value, “we saw not only a spike, but then we saw it sustained even when we came back to in-person learning,” Kim said.
💡 Easy-of-use for anyone
Whether it’s a third-grade teacher creating how-to videos for students to revisit FAQs or an accounting teacher using it for a flipped classroom approach, Screencastify has proven to be a simple integration for any classroom.
“That's the Hallmark for like a really great tool — they feel comfortable even if they haven't had formal training and they can get what they need,” Kim said.
One North Canton teacher (a self-proclaimed “video nerd in residence”) even used Screencastify to show how simple the tool is for other teachers and their students to use. See the video below:
🏫 ‘One of the best things we've ever rolled out’
Kim said that Screencastify has given students and teachers in North Canton City School District more opportunity to become creators and more effective educators — and the proof is in the numbers. Nearly 23,000 videos were created in the district during the 2020-2021 school year, with the top video creator making more than 700 videos!
“The feedback from our teachers is that they’ve learned they could be so innovative with how they were using video to educate their students,” she said. “It’s really one of the best things we've ever rolled out.”