There are many tools and programs that can be used for screencasting, and better yet, there are many ways for students and educators to use such tools for teaching and learning.
In this blog post we are going to take a look at seven creative activities that can be done with screencasting. Although these activities can likely be done with many of the common screencasting tools available, for the demonstrations I have included here I will be using the free Screencastify Chrome web extension.
See below for a detailed tutorial video as well as seven examples of how your students and you can spice up learning with screencasting!
Tutorial Video (1 hour)
Below is the full 1-hour training video on "Super Screencastify Activities for Schools". You can watch the entire video below, or further down in this post you can watch shorter portions of the video explaining each of the seven ways to use screencasting in your classroom.
1) Instructional Videos
- Flipping - Students can watch these instructional videos outside of traditional class time to prepare for the more hands-on application work they will do in class.
- Remediation - Students the need extra help can watch videos to gain more instruction, with the option to rewind and rewatch as needed.
- Enrichment - Students that are ready for additional content or challenges can use your recorded screencasts to extend their learning.
- Differentiation - There is only one of you, but there can be loads of videos you have created, allowing students to explore different content as needed or desired.
- Independence - With recorded screencasts students and teachers can get help on their own initiative and on their own time, without having to get face to face help for everything.
2) Narrating Slideshows
This could be used in several scenarios:
- Recording your voice while giving a traditional slideshow presentation.
- Adding narration to a storybook or ebook you created in Google Slides (For more details see my resources on "Creating Storybooks with Google Slides".)
- Adding narration to a digital comic strip you created in Google Slides (For more details see my resources on "Creating Comic Strips with Google Slides".)
- First, use the "Publish to the web" option to run the slideshow full-tab.
- To do this, click "File" then "Publish to the web" then "Publish".
- You will now get a link for the presentation.
- Copy that link and then paste it into the URL bar in a new browser tab.
- The slideshow will now display in presentation mode filling up the entire browser tab.
- You can now record your screencast while speaking and clicking through the presentation.
3) Explain Student Understanding
A student can record themselves:
- Sharing their thoughts on the latest chapter they read in the class novel.
- Working out a math problem on a virtual whiteboard while talking through the steps.
- Summarizing what they learning in today’s lesson.
- Explaining the main points of the essay, story, or report that wrote.
See below for the portion of my recorded webinar that specifically addresses using screencasting for students to explain their understanding:
4) Dub a Video
- Practice translation - Students can take a video in a foreign language and speak the dialog in their own language, or vice versa they can take a video in their native language and speak it in a language they are learning.
- Interpret a story - Students could act out a scene from a movie or show verbatim. This would give them the opportunity to act out the text to express their understanding of the story.
- Reinterpret a story - Or students could rewrite the original dialog in more modern language, or in simpler terms, or just in a new style. Again this would allow them to show their understanding of the purpose and themes of the original story. For example, they could write contemporary dialog for Hamlet.
- Tell a whole new story - Or students could be totally creative and make up a completely new story, replacing the original dialog with a new narrative that fits the actions being shown on screen.
- Create commentary - Finally students could make their own commentary track for a video. This could be them describing what is happening, or offering their critique, telling a historical backstory, or explaining a scientific concept that can be seen in the video
- Pay the video full tab.
- Set a start and stop time, if needed.
- Mute the audio of the video, so only you will be heard.
See below for the portion of my recorded webinar that specifically addresses using screencasting to dub a video:
5) Give a Speech or Performance
Although we often think of screencasting as recording your screen, most tools will also allow you to just record your webcam. Students can record themselves giving their speech or performing their music in the privacy of their own home. This can have several benefits:
- The student will be much less nervous you will get a more accurate measure of what they know or can do.
- The student will likely do the recording multiple times to get it perfect, encouraging lots of practice and repetition.
- The student will likely gain confidence, as the screencast serves as a stepping stone to presenting live eventually.
6) Practice Fluency
A great benefit of this is the ability of the teacher to listen and re-listen to the recording as much as needed to identify errors and needs. Additionally since the recording is digital, it will be easy to share it with other colleagues for their input, or to play for parents to show student progress.
For more resources on technology tools for world language fluency see my post "5 Fantastic Fluency Tools for Speaking World Languages".
See below for the portion of my recorded webinar that specifically addresses using screencasting for a student to practice fluency:
7) Provide Feedback
However, by using a screencast, you can simply record the screen with the student’s work displayed, and then talk as you explain the strengths of the work and what needs improvement, pointing things out with the mouse or by highlighting. When done, a link to the recording can be pasted into the student’s document so they can simply click the link to view your personal video feedback.
For more resources on feedback options for student work, see my post on "Four Fantastic Feedback Tools for Google Docs".
See below for the portion of my recorded webinar that specifically addresses using screencasting to provide feedback:
- Screencastify has a free version that will do everything you need.
- With the free version you can record up to 10 minutes at a time.
- You can record your entire desktop, a tab in your browser, and/or your webcam.
- It includes annotation tools that can be used during the recording.
- When done, the video can be saved automatically to your Google Drive, but can also be downloaded to your computer or uploaded to YouTube.
Begin by installing the Screencastify extension from the Chrome Web Store: Chrome Web Store link
Note: Because this is a Chrome Extensions, you need to be using Chrome on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook to be able to use this tool.
- First, Screencastify will ask for permission to use your webcam and microphone, which you will need to allow.
- Next, it will ask where to save your videos. I recommend having the videos saved to Google Drive since you have unlimited storage in Google Apps for Education and the videos are easy to share with others. When asked, you will need to give permission for Screencastify to save to your Drive.
- For the last permission, it will ask to be able to record your browser tabs.
See below for the portion of my recorded webinar that specifically addresses how to install and configure Screencastify:
Screencasting is an easy tool that can have a powerful impact on learning. Although it can be used for instructional videos, it is much more versatile and can lend itself to a variety of student projects for creativity and communication.
How else have you and your students used screencasting tools in school? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below.
Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1