Screencasting has become much more popular as the applications get better and the video compression increases. Many educators are now recording lecture notes and problem sets and posting them online. Recently, my son’s elementary school sent home a link from their new YouTube channel that shows a video explaining the new math strategies to parents.
I am not sure I know who was more excited, my 8 year old to see his teacher on our TV or me to finally understand the crazy (in my limited opinion) way they are now teaching math. Now, I really feel like I understand the strategies my son is using and how each of them is teaching him to think critically. So, even if you do not think students would use the information- what a great resource for parents. The video above was probably shot with a smartphone or video camera; however, what if you want to record what you are doing on a computer- such as a powerpoint? That is where screencasting becomes an important tool.
There are many different applications to do screencasting. Some are free, like Jing and ScreenCast-o-Matic and some require either a one time fee or an annual fee. They all are slightly different in their look but they all function basically the same. Using either your built in microphone on a laptop or tablet or an external microphone, they capture what is on your screen (hence screencasting) and your audio and merges it into a video format. You can then share that screencast by uploading it to one of many different video sharing sites or even use it with a substitute if you’re absent.
The screencast below was created using my favorite Tiny Take. It is for my biology students and seeks to explain how to work some of the Genetics problems we have been doing in class. This particular screencast has been used by students to review for their test and by students who are absent. It allows them to rewind or pause the instruction and work the problems at their own pace.
So you looked at these and think that they are cool but you also think that there is no way that you can do a screencast. You may think it requires too much technical skill or that it is just too complicated for you. Check out this tutorial!
It may help you get started. If you still need assistance, the Tiny Take website as well as other applications have many tutorials and help videos, like the one above. So just select an application that you want to try and go for it!
The great things about screencasting is that you don’t have to have a dedicated course website to do this. With a simple application and a Youtube login, you can open up the world of your classroom to parents and aid students who may need to hear instruction multiple times. Do you use screencasting with your class or students? Leave a link to your Youtube channel below or let me know how you are using this great tool.