Using Loom

Here’s a quick overview of Loom and why I like it.

What’s Loom?

Loom is a video recording / screencasting tool. It is available as a Google extension. I first came across this tool after reading this post last year. It includes a good video tutorial for how to make vids.

How can I get it?

Basically, Google ‘Loom for Chrome’, add the extension, then pin it to your browser. Whenever you want to record a vid of you/your screen/you and your screen you just click the Loom button and you get a drop down recorder appear:

When you start recording you choose if you want to record the entire screen, a window or a tab. When you finish recording the video automatically uploads to your Loom library.

You can share these videos easily by copying and pasting the video link into Google Classroom (or wherever). The best thing for me is what you can do after that (see speech bubbles in next image).

As you watch a video you can add comments. You click the comment button and the video will pause automatically, then you add your thoughts. You can emoji-react at any point during the video, and you can instantly record a video response after you watch too.

I agree with most of the plus points in the aforementioned post, notably that this tool is quick, easy to use, and very easy to integrate.

How (and how much) am I using it right now?

A LOT. I’m teaching an intensive English class at the moment. Things weren’t supposed to be online, and I’d planned tonnes of speaking activities for f2f lessons. The ease of Loom has really helped up the amount of speaking practice my learners are getting along with their interactions in live lessons. It’s been great for helping them create planned, extended speaking tasks. Each week we are doing a longer speaking activity:

  • Week 1: introduce yourself Pecha Kucha style – 20 slides, 20 images, 20 seconds each slide
  • Week 2: Compare two people/places
  • Week 3: Create a film vlog and review 2 films
  • Week 4: My lockdown in pictures…

Etc

It’s easy for me to create a quick example of each activity (not sharing, my examples are crap).

I’m also getting learners to do short grammar challenges every day as a self-study thing. They complete a task from British Council Learn English then respond to each challenge, often as a video.

Big plus points overall…

  • Wasn’t too hard to get them all set up to use the tool
  • Loads of engagement
  • A great record of progress through their Loom video library
  • Students are responding to my feedback! Even if it’s just an acknowledgement. Video fb seems to work well.

Before these intensives I mainly used Loom to either a) make tech tutorial vids or b) make ‘read-to-me’ vids for lit. Pleased I’m using it more now.

Anyone else like it? Got any good ideas for how I can use it?

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