Tuesday, April 4, 2017

NRec: Offline Chromebook Video


Chromebook woes

Frustration has set in this year as teachers and students alike have struggled with tools such as Screencastify and Nimbus. Performance has been a huge concern in regard to the creation of videos. Audio and video aren't syncing correctly. There are times when the audio is glitching or the video starts to jump. Again, this seems to be an issue directly related to the use of the Chromebook and these resources. These are issues that weren't as prevalent in years past. 

Many teachers, like myself, prefer to take their Chromebook home to do grading or create video lessons rather than lugging home a much larger PC laptop. The portability of the Chromebook is great, but only if it is working correctly. So if you are a student or a teacher that has been frustrated due to continual performance issues in regard to recording video; NRec might be the solution. This is also a great option for individuals that do not have an Internet connection. Videos can easily be saved to Google Drive via the files app.

What it is

NRec is a no-nonsense offline video recorder for Google Chrome. You can adjust resolution, click to record, and save your video to the device. (The default setting on a Chromebook is the download folder in the Files app.) For most teachers, using a document camera (iPevo Ziggy, Elmo, Hovercam  Solo) is the easiest way to create video lessons. You can utilize any USB document camera with NRec, but it will require some adjustments the first time you use it (see video below). There are not a lot of options...but it records well. You will be less likely to lose your video or have to rerecord due to poor performance. If teachers do not have access to a document camera, they could merely use the webcam and make a recording. Standing in front of the webcam with a dry erase board works. Videos do not have to be fancy.

What it isn't

NRec does not allow you to trim, voice over, or add any special effects to your recording. It is not a screencasting tool like Screencastify or Nimbus; it only records from a camera.  It is limited, but it works. 

How to get started

If you are using a document camera, you'll need to make some slight adjustments to the settings. Please check out my video below on how to make those adjustments, recording, and saving your video to Google Drive via the Files app.