Monday, April 23, 2018

Screencasting Savvy

If you have been watching our Tech-A-Minute mini-series, you know that we have been exploring different options for student video creation. In our latest episode, we discussed screencasting.

A screencast is essentially a recording of your computer screen that allows you to capture the action on your screen while you narrate. Most screencasting tools also allow you to create a webcam recording from your device’s camera. You may have seen a screencast in an instructional video or as a presentation with a voiceover. While this can be a very powerful tool for teachers to deliver course content, create remedial content, differentiate for a student, or communicate with parents, it can be especially powerful when put in the hands of students.

As explained in this article, screencasts can turn students into digital teachers. They can present a project, answer an assessment question, and make other informal videos within just minutes. Some tools allow students to create more polished, edited videos, while others give students a platform to quickly express their ideas and show their understanding. Check out some of the examples of student-created screencasts below:

Examples from Mark Haxton at Aspen Creek K-8
Math Problem Solving example
Circle Hockey Presentation example
Close Reading example

Now that you know why you might want to have your students create a screencast, we can explore the how. Below are a few tools that your students can use across many devices, including Chromebooks. Check each one out to find a tool that will best meet your students’ needs.

Helpful Resources
A web-based tool that allows users to instantly capture their screen with audio commentary. There is both a free and paid version available.
Users can choose to save their video file on their device, upload to the Screencast-o-matic cloud, or to a YouTube channel.
A Chrome extension that allows recording from a tab, desktop, or webcam. The free version of this tool allows students to create videos up to 10 minutes long.
Screencasts save directly to their Google Drive for easy sharing.
A “record” option in a video edit that gives the option to record your screen or webcam. This option allows for editing and does not have a time limit.
WeVideo automatically saves finished videos to your WeVideo account, but can also save to Google Drive or a YouTube channel.
A Chrome extension that allows you to capture your screen or record a video and add in your own annotations.
Users can choose to upload to Google Drive, copy it to the clipboard, or share using a direct link.

As you get started with screencasting with your students, there are many resources to support you. Check out Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Screencasting in the Classroom or the Ultimate Screencasting Guide for Teachers and Students. And don’t forget that we’d love to see your BVSD examples of student screencasts. Tweet us @BVSDEdTech or leave your comments and questions below.

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