Friday, February 25, 2011

Add a little "Jing" to your day...

Today in my German 2 and 3 classes I experimented with Jing. I discovered Jing while reading a blog post on "speedgeeking" by @Holtsman. After watching the example I was immediately in love with Jing, and consequently I proceeded with the free download. Within minutes Jing was up and running, and before I knew it I had created a short explanation of Google Reader.

I began to envision how Jing could be used as a tool to communicate with students, colleagues and even parents. Shortly after the first video I created a second video for my High School's upcoming Professional Development day. The power of this tool was becoming quite clear to me.

The next logical step was trying to figure out how I could use Jing with my German students. I decided to create 4 videos that would provide my students all the information they needed for the day's activities. The idea was great...the kids loved it...the results were fantastic...Jing worked perfectly...bystanders were impressed...BUT...

1st issue: After about 35 seconds students began to have problems with their Jing videos. It wasn't really a problem, but it is a problem when you have 27 students trying to watch the same video at the same time. The videos were requiring more time to buffer than what I had imagined. Long story short, I asked my students to be patient and to check out Free Rice to practice their German vocabulary (and to help the hungry).

2nd issue: After about 35 minutes in first hour all the links to the videos stopped working. Talk about a you know what kind of moment. After what seemed like 27,000 students calling my name at exactly the same time, I quickly realized there was a problem. Jing gives you 2GB of free 27 students in first hour used up the 2GB in 35 minutes. After a minor freak out I searched for answers. Long story short, I purchased an additional 200GB for $10. This is a monthly charge, and I am not sure if I will continue this.

3rd issue: I thought it would be a good idea to take a few videos from YouTube as discussion starters. The idea remains good, however when using Jing the videos came out a little choppy and didn't run as smoothly as I had hoped. Long story short, I don't plan on using too many videos from Youtube when using Jing.

Conclusion: Overall I was happy with today's results. Now that I am more aware of Jing's strengths and weaknesses, I believe I will be better able to use it more appropriately and effectively. I still see a ton of potential with Jing. It's a great tool that can help share a quick burst of information or explanation from your computer screen. I hope this post provides a little real world experience, and if you would like to talk to someone else with more "student Jing experience," I would encourage you to contact @Grade1...happy Jinging!