How I Use It
We used Touchcast (on an ipad) and a green screen for a whole-class project. (In Spanish, students reported on the weather forecast for the upcoming year based on findings in The Farmer's Almanac.) The project was broken into smaller parts so that students could work on different segments in groups of 4. At the end, I was able to merge all groups' videos to create one cohesive product for the class.
Students first typed scripts. They then copied them into a teleprompter website, but Touchcast has its own teleprompter feature, as well. (I did not explore it, however.) After, students saved images (could be video clips) to the camera roll on the ipad we were using for filming. Before students filmed, they had to upload, size and position all of the images (called vApps on Touchcast). Finally, students filmed each other and incorporated their vApps (images) into their projects.
(Teachers can also use this app for flipped learning by creating Touchcasts of themselves. Other features include a whiteboard and "glass".)
I spent just under an hour playing with Touchcast before we used it in class. Because I did that, I was able to give clear instructions to the kids on how to use it. They still needed some guidance, but no more than expected. I like that Touchcast let students focus more on the content and less on the tech, while still being able to create a nice-looking product. They enjoyed the green screen experience, and it was fun to view the whole project together.
For better or worse, after creating a Touchcast clip, it really can't be edited. This forced the students to be more prepared since they knew they wouldn't have multiple "takes". (I could, however, email clips to myself, download them to my computer, then edit in iMovie if I wanted to.)
It would have been helpful to know before starting that all images must be saved to the device you are using before you begin filming. These cannot be added after. You will also need to add them into the vApps feature within Touchcast before filming.
The interface was very easy for students to use. I think that if the same class did a second project with Touchcast, they would be able to use the app with only a little assistance from me.
Overall, I really enjoyed using Touchcast with my students, and I recommend it to other teachers. I am already considering using it again with another class in a few weeks now that I am comfortable with the app!