What is a Screencast?

A screencast is a digital recording of what you are doing on your computer screen which is usually accompanied by audio narration. Screencasts can be a great resource for students in any subject area.


Screencasting software

Screencasting can be performed by a variety of programs and utilities.

On Mac computers, there is a native solution called Quicktime. Mac users simply have to open up Quicktime and go to File -> New Screen Recording. Detailed instructions here.

Windows doesn’t have a built-in solution, however there is a great free tool called Screencast-o-matic that works right from your browser window! This is the tool that I will be focusing on in this workshop since it is free and anyone can use it.

Let’s get started!

Screencast-o-matic has a good video tutorial series here.

I recommend watching the Start Recording video for a brief overview.


Ways to use Screencasting in your class

Anything on your screen can be recorded as video for your students to review in the future. This could be as simple as a live demo where you show them how to properly set-up a Word document to write an essay or perhaps make a screencast of a PowerPoint you were going to show the class anyways. Record lessons that students can access anytime, anywhere.

#1 Live Screencasting

This is probably the easiest way to get into screencasting because it takes the least amount of commitment. In most cases, you would be recording something that you are already doing.

  • Record procedures and answer common questions during class (or something you do anyways, but now students have it for reference)
  • Live recording of a presentation (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.)
  • Record a software demo for students (ex. I would use this for something like Photoshop or Video Editing for my own students so they can pause and rewind to see some of the difficult steps)
  • If you have a tablet, record math examples as you do them in class

#2 Flipped Classroom/Online/Hybrid Learning

For teachers that want students to view lessons at home and have more time to engage with subject material in class. More info on flipped classrooms here.

  • Record your lesson in advance (using PowerPoint or whatever format you prefer) and post it for students to view for homework
  • Record lessons that students can access anytime, anywhere.
  • Make a video to help your substitute teacher if you have to miss class.

#3 Student-created Content

Invite students to explain course concepts in a screen cast.

  • iPads with digital whiteboard software like “Explain Everything” or “ShowMe” puts screencasting in students hands.
  • If computers are available, use Screencast-o-matic through the browser

Publishing Your Screencast

There are a few options to publish your videos. The most streamlined way that I have found is to download the video file to disk and then manually upload to YouTube. Uploading through YouTube on Screencast-o-matic does not allow you to upload as “unlisted”. You will have to create an account on YouTube in order to use it (or you can log in through your Google account).

YouTube upload settings:

Unlisted: an unlisted YouTube video can be accessed by anyone with a link to the video which you could put on a class website (perhaps behind a password).

Private: only you can see the video. This is probably not very useful for a screencast.

Public: Anyone can find and watch your video on YouTube. If you don’t mind other people seeing your video you could upload as public. If you decide to do it this way be sure to tag your video with relevant tags so people can find your stuff (ex. education, math, algebra)

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