I downloaded this App mid January in hopes that I would be able to use it for my first assignment in this course, my Vlog. Upon downloading it I was confused, frustrated, and annoyed at the fact that the app itself, TouchCast, was not all that was needed to support production of video using this application.
The main application, TouchCast was the first of 3 apps that I downloaded as part of my attempt to utilize this for my assignment. I quickly realized through navigating this application that this version itself was not what I actually needed in order to create a video. The video tutorials that accompany the app which can be found on the Touchcast website or on Youtube were not helpful in the sense that what they were showing me on their screen and what I had access to on my app were completely different. I then realized that maybe I didn’t have the correct app downloaded, so I downloaded the TC Ext Cam app, hoping that I would be able to use this in conjunction with the TouchCast app to actually get something done.
No luck. It turns out that both of these apps on my cell phone would not produce a video at all. I had to download the TouchCast studio app, which could only be downloaded on my iPad. After several hours of downloading and attempting to make something, anything, with this app, I went back to the website to see if there were any tips that I could take from the site itself.
The one quote on their website, “You can create a broadcast-quality video in less than the time it takes to make a cup of tea. How smart is that?” was quite the opposite of the experience I was having. Here is my initial reaction to my experience:
Needless to say, I gave up on trying to use TouchCast at all this day, and turned to My Simple Slideshow in order to try to utilize this app for my first Vlog assignment in this course.
There is so much potential for an app like this. Browsing through all of the tutorial videos, use of something like this was extremely appealing to me. I envisioned myself using this with my students in a course like ELA when students could be asked to report on something specific, or even using it in a larger context of having a group of students report to the student body on a Friday afternoon regarding exciting events that had happened during the week. I was not ready to give up on the application yet.
One aspect of TouchCast that I found appealing was their Social Mission statement. Part of which explained that, “Young people today are drawn to the world of online broadcasting and wish to communicate through video with their local and global community. By supporting their natural communication habits, we are helping to create an environment in which they learn by doing”. An application like this certainly supports Ribble’s notion that students having creative freedom to express themselves online is important. I really liked that TouchCast supported this idea.
After reading this, I spent some extensive time in the next week going through the Educator’s Guide for the application. I found it extremely interesting how the guide spoke language that I could understand. TouchCast boasts the fact that they support 21st Century learners, they make reference to the “flipped classroom” approach that so many of us strive to offer our students, and value the importance of teaching students digital literacies. The Educator’s Guide gives specific examples of how TouchCast can be used different subject areas including Science and History, which I really appreciated as sometimes these two classes can be seen as courses where the use of technology may not be as prominent as in something like Art or ELA.
What I liked best was the step by step “how to” guide for teachers who want to try to use TouchCast. As soon as I saw this, I was willing to try to give the app another go. However, as you will see in my vlog below, I still was not successful:
I am going to try to utilize the app again before my project is complete and I am also planning on going a bit more into depth into the Terms and Conditions associated with this app as I remember reading how it is the responsibility of the user to keep up to date with the terms as they may change periodically. Despite how I am finding it to be extremely frustrating and not user friendly at all, I am willing to give it another go before this project is complete!