For the past seven years, Dan Spencer has taught science (chemistry, physics, engineering) at Michigan Center High School in Michigan. He's now an educational technology consultant for the Jackson County Intermediate School District in Michigan. His role is to help teachers use educational technology in way that improve student learning.

In his teaching role, Dan condensed his lectures into 15-20 minute screencasts for students to watch at home on his classroom iPod Touch devices. Instead of lecturing in class, the time is now spent on meaningful activities that make chemistry more "real world" such as labs, demonstrations and problem-based learning projects. This system has allowed each student to work at his or her own unique pace, spending more time on material that's confusing to them and less time on assignments they learn quickly. When students can show mastery of each assignment they are allowed to move on.

"My screencasts have completely changed how I teach and how my students learn," Dan said. "Before, I was forcing all my students to learn the same way I learned (lecture - homework - test - repeat). It worked for me when I was in high school and college but it doesn't work for many of my students."

"The screencasts let my students learn the material at a pace that works for them. Also, my kids are now responsible for their learning. If a student doesn't understand something from a screencast they can review it as many times as needed before moving on, or getting more focused help from me or their peers. That wasn't an option before."

"As the educational technology consultant for our county, I want to help other teachers see how they can improve their instruction by leveraging technology, such as screencasting and mobile devices, to allow them to do what they do best, which is building relationships and guiding learning."

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As the educational technology consultant for our county, I want to help other teachers see how they can improve their instruction by leveraging technology, such as screencasting and mobile devices, to allow them to do what they do best, which is building relationships and guiding learning.

- Dan Spencer,
educational technology consultant, Jackson County ISD