Screencasting: Pick the Right Tool for the Job

--Originally published at Baker's B.Y.O.D.-- Bring Your Own Device, Dog, & Deconstruction of Literature

Screencasting is an integral part of my flipped classroom as I can record videos for a variety of purposes that include (but certainly not limited to) informing parents and students about class expectations, providing answer key videos, documenting directions and the steps of a project, and informing support staff of technical glitches, but I recognize that I am not a Hollywood cinematographer. So, the screencasting tool I choose depends on the type and length of video I need to create.


Screencastify is a Chrome extension that I use for quick recording of videos that are saved to my Google Drive or uploaded to YouTube. As editing capabilites are limited in the free version, I record quick, raw videos on the fly with Screencastify. If I need to quickly record the steps for using a specific edtech tool or need to record a quick video documenting a technical glitch, I will use Screencastify and share the Google Drive link to the video in an email, Edmodo post, or support help ticket. While I can upload Screencastify videos to YouTube, it is quicker and easier to just send the videos to Drive for fast distribution.

For screencasting with students who use G Suite for Education and for schools that block YouTube, Screencastify is the easiest edtech tool for students to use to create their own screencasts as the video can remain in the walled garden space of Google Drive and shared with those who need access. Videos can be embedded in Google Slides or the links turned in to assignments for quick assessments.


I love Screencast-O-matic for making longer demonstrations or informational videos that are under 15 minutes. To mitigate the need for post-production editing, I will have open on my desktop or browser all materials I plan on recording.  Every video will begin with a title slide and a short introduction ("Hi, this is Mrs. Baker and today I will show you..."), and as I record, I will hit the pause button and switch tabs as needed. The video may conclude with a closing slide or a simple statement, "Thanks for watching! Please contact me if you have additional questions." Videos are uploaded to YouTube and later pulled into Edpuzzle, Actively Learn, or posted in Edmodo and Google Classroom. 


If you are serious about video production and need advanced editing tools, then Camtasia is worth the $$$ investment, but be ware, videographers, that post-production editing can take up more time than the actual filming. There are some great flipping educators out there who can quickly whip up a screencast with cool transitions and special effects, but I haven't built up that level of proficiency with using Camtasia.

Interesting in Learning More?

Recognizing that we do not have Hollywood's budget nor the equipment to create a blockbuster screencast, I created this self-paced lesson embedded below which is modeled off of the Explore-Flip-Apply instructional method of Flipped Learning. Navigate through the slides, examine the examples provided, access the resources, and take a spin at creating your own. If you send me your creation, I'll add it to examples provided.


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