Monday, May 22, 2023

Webinar Recording - Google Screencast for Teaching and Learning

A while back Google rolled out their new tool for Chromebooks called Google Screencast. At the time I did a short intro video about the tool. You can still check out that short tutorial video and blog post.

Recently I had the chance to do a full webinar on Google Screencast and really go into all the details and lots of example uses for schools. Here is a description of the session:

Google Screencast for Teaching and Learning
Google's new Screencast tool for Chromebooks lets teachers and students record their screen, webcam, voice and annotations, and makes an interactive transcript that can be searched and translated! Learn how to use all the features of this awesome new tool, and explore how you and your students can use it for creative learning activities including instructional videos, student assessments, student projects, personalized teacher feedback, narrating slideshows, giving speeches, dubbing videos, explaining solutions, and much more.

See below to watch the full recording of this session, as well as access resources and details about the Screencast tool.

▶️ Webinar Video (41 minutes)

🧰 Session Resources

✅ Screencast Overview

With Google Screencast you can:
  • Record your entire screen or portion of your screen
  • Record your webcam and your voice
  • Annotate on the screen while you are recording
  • Generate an automatic transcript of the recording
  • Translate the transcript to any language
  • Edit the screencast by skipping portions of the transcript
  • Google Screencast only runs on the Chrome operating system, so must be used on a Chromebook, Chromebox, etc.
  • Screencast also requires at least version 103 of the Chrome operating system.

🚀 Launching the Screencast App

You can start the Screencast tool from the ChromeOS launcher.

This will open the Screencast app where you can access your existing recordings, watch some "Getting Started" videos, or create a new screencast.

🔴 Recording the Screencast

To make a new recording click the "New screencast" button. Before you start recording though, you can make a few settings choices.
  • On the Screencast toolbar you can choose how you want to record the screen including:
  • Record full screen
  • Record partial screen
  • Record window
  • You can also click the settings gear to:
  • Select the microphone you want to use
  • Select the camera you want to use
  • Or even turn off the camera if you only want to record the screen

If you do leave the camera on you can:
  • Click and drag the camera video to any of the four corners
  • Click on the camera resize button to switch between large and small sizes for your camera video
When you are ready to start, click the "Record" button on the screen.
  • After a countdown timer, your screencast recording will now begin.
  • At this point you can say and do whatever you need to provide instruction as a teacher, or to explain your understanding as a student.
  • If you would like to annotate on the screen while recording, simply click on the marker button in the bottom right corner.
  • You can now draw on the screen as needed.
  • To change the color of the marker, right click on the marker button and select a new color.
  • To clear what you have drawn you can click on the marker button to toggle it off, or you can double tap the screen with two fingers.

  • Also, to improve the automatic transcript it is helpful to pause in between each of your sentences when speaking.
  • If you make a mistake while recording, no worries. Just pause for a moment and then say that information again. Later you will be able to easily edit out the incorrect line.
  • When you are done recording, click the recording button in the bottom right corner to stop.

✂️ Editing the Screencast

After you have recorded a screencast you will find it on the home screen of the app. Do note, it may take a little while for the recording to finish processing.
  • When it is ready, click on the recording to preview and edit the screencast.
  • You can click the "Play" button to watch your recording.

  • You can rename your screencast by clicking on the temporary name in the top left corner.
  • On the right side of the screen you will see the automatically generated transcript for your video.
  • If there is an error in the transcription, you can click the 3-dots button for that section and choose "Edit text" to make any needed changes.

  • You can also use this panel to edit your screencast
  • If there is a section where you made a mistake, or just a portion that is not needed, you can click the 3-dots button for that section and choose "Skip section". 
  • That portion of the video will not be shown when the screencast is played.
  • If you need to add that section back in later, you can click the "Undo skip" button for that section to include it again.

🔗 Sharing the Screencast

When you are ready to share your screencast, you can let other people view it if they are also using a Chromebook. Here's how:
  • First, click the "Share" button in the top right of the screen.
  • This will open the "Share Screencast" pop-up window.
  • Click on the "Share with others" button so other people can view it.
  • You can now click the "Copy link" button to copy the link for viewing the screencast.

  • You can now give this link to anyone else using a Chromebook and they will be able to watch your screencast.
  • You can share the link in any way you prefer such as in Google Classroom, or in an email, as a link on your website, as a QR code, as a shortened link, through social media, and more.
Note: Currently viewers must be on a Chromebook, but this is changing with the upcoming web player for Screencast, so anyone can watch a recording on any device.

👀 Viewing the Shared Screencast

When a Chromebook user clicks the link you shared, it will open the Screencast app. Here they can watch your recording using the controls at the bottom.

The auto-generated transcript will display in a panel on the right, and has several helpful features:
  • As the screencast plays, the transcript will highlight each section as it is spoken.
  • The user can also click on any section in the transcript to jump to that specific spot in the video.
  • The user can also click the search button in the top right to find specific words in the transcript. This can be useful in a longer screencast to be able to find the content you are looking for.

  • The user can also click on the language menu at the top of the transcript, where they can select a language to automatically translate the transcript
  • This can be especially helpful for someone who speaks a different primary language to follow along with the content.

💻 Sharing with Non-Chromebook Users

At the moment you have to be using a Chromebook to be able to create recordings with the Screencast app, and to be able to view recordings in the Screencast app. Soon this is changing with the upcoming web player for Screencast, so anyone can watch a recording on any device.

Until we get that update, what if you want people who are not on a Chromebook to be able to view your recording?

The good news is that the raw video from your screencast is saved in your Google Drive as a WEBM video file, which can be shared in many ways with others. You can find all of your recordings in a folder in your Drive titled "Screencast recordings":

Keep in mind though, this is the raw video, so it will not have several of the benefits of viewing in the Screencast app. For example:
  • Any sections you chose to skip will not be skipped in the raw video.
  • And the raw video file will not have the auto-generated transcript, so the end user cannot use that to jump to different sections, or search through the transcript, or translate it into another language.
Having said that though, it is the full recording of your screencast with the recorded screen, your webcam, your voice, and any annotations you drew with the marker tool.

So what can you do with the raw video recording?

One option is to simply share the file from your Google Drive.
  • You can share the file as normal, just like any file that is stored in your Drive.
  • You can share the recording with specific people, or you can share the file as a link that anyone can view.
  • The recording is saved in the WEBM video format, which is a format that can be viewed by anyone using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera.
Another option is to download the file and then share it through another service such as YouTube.
  • Simply download the recording from your Google Drive.
  • Then upload the video to your YouTube channel.
  • YouTube is able to process and play WEBM files with no problem.

🎞️ Examples of Uses

1) Instructional Videos
  • Flipped instructions
  • Remediation
  • Enrichment
  • Differentiation

2) Explain Student Understanding
  • Students can explain their understanding, work out a problem, share their thoughts, etc.
  • Can help with cheating issues

3) Narrating Slideshows
  • Use "Publish to the Web" to get slideshow link
  • Record the tab with the slideshow
  • Narrate the slideshow while recording

4) Provide Feedback
  • Record the screen with the student's work
  • Narrate your feedback, suggestions, and evaluation of the work
  • Insert the link to the recording as a text comment in the document

5) Give a Speech or Performance
  • Use Screencast to record just the webcam

6) Practice Fluency
  • Record the text being read as well as the student's voice

7) Insert Videos into Slides
  • The WEBM video files from Google Screencast can be inserted directly into Slides from your Google Drive.
  • Example uses:
    • Adding an instructional video to a slideshow.
    • Adding narration to a presentation.
    • Reading a slideshow eBook aloud.
    • Embedding a speech or performance into a presentation.
    • Explaining how to solve a math problem.
    • Leaving video feedback on another student's writing.
    • Responding to a question or prompt in a shared class slideshow

8) Dub a Video
  • Add narration to an existing video
    • Practice translation
    • Explain a process or concept
    • Interpret a story
    • Reinterpret a story
    • Tell a whole new story
    • Create commentary
  • Steps
    • Display the video full tab.
    • Set a start and stop time (optional).
    • Mute the audio in the video.
    • Record the tab with while narrating

Post by Eric Curts
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