Thursday, April 28, 2016

Once Upon a Time in the Land of Technology: Screencasting

In my last post, Once Upon a Time in the Land of Technology, Part I, I talked about engaging students by having them videotape and edit movies using a variety of tools to create a story project for any subject area.  In Part II, I am going to look at several screencasting apps and ideas for using them as a teacher and a student.

Screencasting is one of the most exciting tools I've used recently.  It is a way to record what you are doing on your screen while you talk and explain your actions.  This is a great way to create videos to flip your classroom or show your student's how to do something on the computer.  Student's can do this too to show what they've learned or talk through a problem while working it out on an on-screen whiteboard.  There are a number of free screencasting programs, including the following:

Screencast-O-Matic is a free screencasting tool available at  It is web-based and will record up to 15 minutes with the free version.  The paid version gives you some other bells and whistles, along with unlimited record time.  The annual fee is minimal - $15 a year!  The program is easy to use and understand.

Here's our video on using Screencast-O-Matic:

Other screencasting apps include:

You can also use Office Mix with PowerPoint 2013 or newer to record your presentation with your voice.

Ideas for classroom use include:
  • Narrate your "old" PowerPoint, Google Slides, or other presentations from former years to create a video for your students.
  • Record your lesson live while you are teaching your class which will give your student's who were absent the video to watch and students who just didn't get it the first time, can watch it again!
  • Create content videos for your flipped classroom.
  • Training videos for staff and students.
  • Feedback for students!
  • Students can create content by screencasting what they've learned.
    • They can screencast a math problem and talk through the process as they solve the problem.
    • Illustrate concepts or show understanding.
    • They can screencast a presentation that they have created on a topic.
    • They can create stories based on what they've learned in history or science.
Comment below and tell us how you use screencasting in your classroom!