TOOL PLC 1718: September Monthly Focus - Screensharing

posted Oct 21, 2017, 11:20 AM by Emily Kroutil

My partner and I made a goal this month to practice screensharing.  Both of us had been hesitant to use it with Jigsaw before because we knew that there had been a few issues regarding screensharing in the past.  However, these issues were cleared up not long before we decided on our focus, so we decided to go with it! 


Screensharing can be very helpful in science courses.  Our students have quite a few virtual labs in their courses and even with clear instructions on the lab handout, the kids can sometimes get confused or not sure about which values to put into the data tables or how to set up the simulation or even how to do the calculations in the lab.  So, sharing our screens and walking them through the lab is very helpful, especially for our special education students. 


I ended up doing my screenshare trial during a non-live session for a couple reasons: 1) I wanted to make sure it worked before I tried it when students might be present; 2) I wanted to see what the recording looked like before I tried it in a live session so I'd know what to expect; 3) I don't often have students attend my sessions live, so I could make a screenshare for a lab AND also be able to use my live session time to solve practice problems – something the kids really need in a computational science like physics. 


My recording is on YouTube here: Newton's 2nd Law Lab.  I've edited it to take out the places where I felt like I messed up or repeated myself or whatever. 


A few things I noticed about my recording: 

1) The quality isn't as good as a recording done from Quicktime on my computer.  Do I need the recordings in HD?  I don't know, but the quality is still less. 

2) There are some places in the video where the screen goes black but I'm still talking.  I'm guessing this was a blip between my connection with Jigsaw.  I don't have these issues using Quicktime because I don't have to connect to any servers when I record my screen on my computer. 

3) Overall, it would work if I needed to share my screen to show students something, but I wouldn't want to rely on it during a synchronous session that no one attended live because I wouldn't know if they were getting the dark screen or not for the recording, which is what my students tend to utilize the most. 


I liked the idea of recording myself walking my students through a lab and the students that viewed the recording had higher scores on their labs, so I think it was helpful.  I like having that recording in my repository of helpful things I can provide for students.  However, using Jigsaw for those recordings seems, at this time, to be a waste.  I can do the same thing using Quicktime and avoid the server issues with Jigsaw and get a better quality recording.  Since making the recording through Jigsaw, I have been trying to record myself walking the students through other labs and posting those recordings for them, so even though I wouldn't use Jigsaw to simply make a screenshare recording, the idea of recording myself doing the labs came from this activity and I have been implementing that, so overall the activity was helpful.