Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Screencastify


Quality teaching is an art form. Being a technology coach of sorts, I get to visit a variety of teachers and see them in their finest moments. Often, I think about how much I wish I had started recording these moments right from the beginning. Watching master teachers work their magic is an awesome experience. So how can we better capture those moments?

Screencastify (click to download) is a free Chrome app. There are premium features that can be purchased. With the free version a teacher can record their screen, webcam, or document camera for up to ten minutes. These videos could be recorded when the students are present or during prep time. Either way, teachers have an incredible opportunity to essentially multiply the number of teachers in the classroom by having video resources available. (Here are four reasons teachers should record their teaching.)

Screencastify Basics

This video gives an overview of all the features within Screencastify. It goes through how to launch the app, create multiple types of recordings, and how to manage your videos. 


Screencastify with a Document Camera

The following video covers the specifics on how to create a recording using Screencastify and a document camera (Ziggy HD). Many teachers will feel more comfortable with the idea of using a document camera because they can use physical materials (paper, pens, etc) instead of digital tools for the purpose of teaching. In this sample, I made a video using Legos to demonstrate addition. (I apologize for the length of the video, but I included my entire lesson sample in it. You can see the results of the video by clicking here.)





Screencastify a Presentation

Another option for content delivery would be to screen record a presentation that you made. This could be Google Slides, Powerpoint, eMaze, or any other presentation tool you like. The idea is that you have your content already laid out digitally and record your voice over the content. In this sample, I actually found a good presentation on Slideshare made by another teacher. 



Final Thoughts

So how is this useful for you? Think about how often a student is absent due to sickness or being pulled for other various reasons. Think about how often you get a new student and how difficult it is to catch them up with the rest of the class. How often do you have a parent communicate that they aren't sure what is happening in class and do not know how they can assist their child? Recording your lessons can help solve these issues.