Sunday, February 24, 2013

ASK3 App for iPad- Taking iPad Screencasting to a Whole New Level!

ASK3 App from TechSmith
Lately I've been experimenting with a new iPad-only app called ASK3 from TechSmith (see my demo below).  At first it may appear to be yet another "recordable whiteboard" app like some of my other favorites I've blogged about before, however the folks at TechSmith may be onto something unique here.  

Usually the concept of recording instructional screencast videos goes one way (teacher to student).  However, with ASK3, the student or whomever is the recipient can record their own video response back to the class!  Now screencasting on the iPad can be a two-way street!

Consider this example scenario:  a student needs clarification when watching an instructional screencast made by their teacher.  Right at the moment of confusion (on the timeline) they can reply with something like "why does the formula use that addition sign..." or something similar to that.  Now the answer may come from another classmate OR the teacher, likely even before the next class session!  Hence the name of this app-- Ask 3 before me-- which is a concept I've used as a classroom teacher for years.  Students need to learn that the answers cannot always stem from the teacher.  This app and concept really enables the student to seek out answers outside of regular class hours.

Here's the catch-- of course to make this possible, kids would need 1:1 or BYOD access to iPads.  As of today, the app does not work over the web or on other tablet brands, but that doesn't mean it will never be.  The TechSmith software company has been around for decades and they are well known for listening to customer requests and feedback.  Already I've submitted feature requests for ASK3 and they've responded each time.  

Already we are seeing innovative districts in the Western New York region (see here and here) implementing 1:1 iPad programs.  Most recently, the Williamsville School District announced their impressive plans to equip all 5th grade students with iPads beginning in 2013-2014, and plans are to implement an additional grade each year.  This means all middle school students in the district will have an iPad within the next 4 years.  Now that's exactly what I consider great vision and leadership in the area of Educational Technology, way to go Williamsville!  School districts with visionary leaders will be able to leverage apps like ASK3 to improve the educational process for their students.

Here's a brief screencast tutorial I made for my Canisius Grad students in our Ed Tech Program as we explored the ASK3 app for potential classroom use:




Update: Also take a look at the demonstration of ASK3 by TechSmith's Troy Stein here on YouTube.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments below!