Touchcast is an exciting new iPad app that is perfect for the flipped or traditional classroom as it provides teachers an opportunity to create interactive virtual lessons. More importantly it provides students an opportunity to present their work in a way that could not ever before be possible or conceivable. Touchcast sets itself apart from other iPad app video recorders because it has interactive features you can build onto your video. The possibilities are endless. You can record yourself with the front facing camera, record someone or something else with the rear camera, or use the whiteboard to record. Then you get to the real interactivity by adding vApps. vApps are like little widgets that you can add over the top of your recording. You can add things like a web browser, other videos, images, polls, and Google Maps (plus a heap more). When you publish the video, viewers can interact with the vApps by moving them around and using them. I don’t believe there is anything else that allows you to create a multimedia experience like this and unbelievably it is free.
Here is a presentation I created in less than 5 minutes, and while it is definitely amateurish in production you can see what can be created in a very short amount of time with minimal effort. My video includes images, a google map, a website, as well as my recording.
There are some negatives in using the app
- Once you are done recording and hit save to view your recording, you cannot go back and edit or add more.
- You are limited to only 5 minutes.
- You do need to sign in, very simple, (Touchcast require a username and password), however you must be 13 years or older
- I am not sure of student privacy issue implications, as to share the videos they must be uploaded to Touchcast cloud and made public.
However, as previously mentioned the possibilities of use in the language classroom are endless. Students could
- Create interactive videos on any topic
- Create a news report that includes videos and images
- Be a sports commentator and have their commentary include YouTube videos
- Be a weather presenter
- Use for digital storytelling
- Create an interactive travel guide