How to Make Videos … OR … the Secret of SCREEN CAST Software

--Originally published at Flipping My Primary Classroom

This week’s blog is titled... 

HOW TO MAKE VIDS (in a reasonably short time)
Or my alternate title..
The secret of SCREEN CAST software...
Hello again. (Please forgive the handsome head shot. I am experimenting with my blog.) 
I thought that this week I would delve into the past, because I have realized that in my first post I missed a reasonable deal of work that I put into actually making ‘vids’ for flip learning.
This is of course the first hurdle for any would be ‘flipper’.
If you are just a normal Joe like me, then the idea of producing, writing and filming your own lesson video can sound overwhelming. But...
First I read ‘Flip Your Classroom’ which talked about video cameras, monitor cameras and the easiest that jumped out to me were ‘screen casting programs'.
Screen casting software. This is no doubt the easiest path. Screen casting means recording what is happening on the screen of your computer, or tablet, and recording your voice at the same time. This then saves as a video.
Remember you are looking for screen-casting software.
After a quick Google search on the superior apps (I have an iPad) I found the most recommended ‘screen casting’ app was ‘Explain Everything’.
I think that this is currently still the best, though no doubt app fashion moves fast.
‘Explain Everything’ allows you to draw, work through various slides, speak, record, use images, and scroll, enlarge and minimize. It is very thorough.
I made a few quality videos with this app, and plonked them on my site. 
However the real goldmine was struck when I learnt that my IWB (Interactive Whiteboard) was a giant screen-cast recorder. I use the standard SMART brand; and by selecting the small SMART icon, and choosing the smart board recorder, and by inserting a microphone, anything you do on this board can be recorded. Visually and orally.
This was, and is, far superior to 'Explain Everything'. Though, my IWB cost the school thousands of dollars, whereas ‘Explain Everything’ cost me about 4.
Finding a microphone was its own saga. We have a fairly generous AV department where I work, though they still cannot permanently loan mikes. I found the easiest solution was to head to Dick Smith and pick up a 60 dollar mike and headset cheaply, with a USB connection. I plug it straight into the smart board speakers. Too easy.
But...back to the present. Today in class children watched differentiated lesson vids that I had set for them via Edmodo, because they are preparing for a maths assessment next week. I am very much looking forward to this test. It has been useful this week to allow some time to allow students to watch vids in class using their own technology, targeting their own and specific weaknesses.
I was able to look out at my class, and understand that 3 or 4 entirely different and appropriately differentiated maths lessons were happening simultaneously, all taught by myself or my grade partner. They simply weren't happening live. They were ‘pre-recorded’ as such; but still very relevant to the students learning needs. Please see below for a screen shot of a comment that came in (please forgive my clumsy privacy attempts). I am also assuming that the time setting is US times.
That’s enough for today. I look forward to the assessment to see if all this tech implementation is actually working. If I don’t post for a couple of weeks it is because I am super depressed due to worse results than ever. Hah! Just kidding... (I hope)


  • How are you “sharing” your videos? Are you uploading them to YouTube, or saving them to your computer or Google Drive then sharing on edmodo? The problem I am having is that my district blocked YouTube.

    • I always put videos on YouTube, even if they’re blocked at school (which is becoming more and more harmful to students than helpful). It’s where people – including students – go to find videos, so have them there, ready for your students.

      Is having YouTube unblocked a conversation you can help start?

  • Blocking YouTube in middle school or above is rather silly since most kids have total access on their phones. There are also tools to help make it safer, like settings in G Suite if you’re a Google school.

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