Emily Brown: Teacher, East Lee Middle School, Lee County, NC
“Overall URcast is amazing! I love the program and can’t imagine not having it. Some parts I really love:
- Access without internet – I absolutely LOVE that my students don’t need internet access at home to get the resources – URcast makes student laptops an invaluable resource, especially outside the classroom. Students simply open the program at school and all files are downloaded directly to the student device, so the information is accessible the next time they open their laptop, regardless of internet availability.
- Speed of access- I used to put files on my school webpage and YouTube, but it was taking too long to download the files (especially mp4s) and sometimes YouTube never worked. With URcast, the files are available for viewing on the latpop in a fraction of the time it used to take and we don’t have to worry about streaming issues.
- With URcast, I don’t have to worry if they’re (students) at the right place or trying to visit a site that isn’t appropriate. A lot of stress has been eliminated with me because I know that all my students will receive the content–it doesn’t matter if the internet suddenly crashes, I am able to continue with class.
- Organization- when students were required to download files onto their laptop (such as a presentation, video, or document) for future use it was a constant struggle for the students to remember where the file was aved and what they named it. With URcast I am able to send the file, I (the teacher) determine how the file is named and organized, direct the students to the appropriate file and it plays automatically–no buffering, no ads, no distractions–just the information I want them to see.
- Having multiple classes- I teach the whole spectrum in terms of ability, so having multiple classes allows me to separate their materials and avoid possible confusion.
- Preset expiration/clean up- I don’t have to worry about going back later and deleting old material.”
Amy Thomas, Lee County Schools Instructional Facilitator, Lee County, NC
- For Lee County Schools, URcast is a verb. URcast is the vehicle which allows teachers to seamlessly send content directly to student devices. A 5th grade teacher at Broadway Elementary describes her experience as“using URcast has enabled me to really differentiate the learning for my students. As my students work independently, I can be assured they are only on the preferred sites that are instructional and beneficial to their learning instead of games. Using URcast has enabled my ELL students to take home the review of a lesson so that Latino parents can view what their child is learning in school. This has spoken volumes!!! Low leveled students have an extra helping of lessons from Khan Academy or LearnZillion that reinforces the learning in the classrooms. I’m also able to enrich and challenge my middle and higher level students without having to be “right there” with them.”
- A teacher at East Lee Middle School described URcast and student achievements by saying “URcast has allowed me to spend individual time with my students that in the past was spent as a whole group giving notes or watching a video. Now my students can learn and review the material and I can spend time with them actually working on math problems. I can work with the students where they need help the most, how can that not improve student achievement?”
- As an Instructional Technology Facilitator, my goal is to help my teachers successfully integrate technology into their daily lessons. Urcast is the first tool that has allowed my teachers to truly integrate technology, whether inside or outside the classroom. A 5th grade teacher at J.R. Ingram Elementary says “we download videos and have students watch at home. This saves a lot of class time I can use for teaching.” In essence, URcast has leveled-the-playing-field in Lee County. All of our students now have equal access to resources.”
- Teachers want a way to share content through the district, (Ex: East Lee 6th Math have access to SanLee 6thMath). If a teacher is using a shared class, currently anything that is sent through the shared account is shared with everyone.
- Before URcast, teachers could not utilize technology resources, such as YouTube videos of Discovery Education without Internet access; therefore, teachers typically would not fully utilize these resources. However, URcast allows teachers to send the content directly to the student device, so the content is accessible regardless of Internet connectivity. Now my teachers are able to utilize a flipped classroom approach to learning, provide pre-teaching opportunities, and allows for invisible differentiation.
Students, East Lee Middle School, Lee County, NC
- Bersai: Yes, I like URcast because if I take my laptop at home I do not need internet and I do not have internet at home.
- Danna: Yes I do like URcast because I don’t have internet at home right now and every time I don’t finish the videos during class I can look at them without even using the internet.
- Jose: I like URcast because it saves you a lot of time and it is fast. It is longer to go through the school web page and going on the calendar and finding the video.
- Graham: Yes because you don’t need internet and you can use it at home.
- Chasity: Yes, because if I’m absent one day I can go on URcast and watch videos and copy notes down in my notebook or do make up work and if I didn’t understand something I can watch the video on how to do it.
- Skylar: Yes because I don’t have to worry about not being able to see video because that certain browser doesn’t work.
- Marcus: I like URcast because you don’t need to go to the internet or google chrome.
- Lidia: I like URcast because if I don’t finish in class I can take it home and watch it.
- Ana: Yes because you can work at home. And you can work at home without WiFi.