Screencasting: Creating Tutorial Videos for Your Students

Post in News by TerryVannoy on 16th January 2020


What is screencasting?

While giving instructions to your class, it’s nice to be able to support students who need it with remediation, review, and relearning. Screencast videos are very effective tools to offer this extra layer of support. A screencast video is a recording of your computer screen, simulating what you just explained to your young learners. Maybe it’s a process or a series of steps for working out a particular task or problem. Here are some reasons to create screencasts for your students:

  • Remediation
  • Review
  • Processes and procedures that need reinforcement
  • Support for struggling/absent students

Where can you post your videos for student/parent access?

After creating a screencast video, where can you post it to make it available to students, parents, and/or other teachers? Keep in mind that the tool you use to record your video and its file format are considerations for its access. Web-based video posts are the best because your viewers don’t have to have a specific software installed. For instance, you can post your video to:

  • Google Classroom
  • Screencastify (see Chrome extension version below)
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

See this example from Mr. Kerls, P-Tech HS in Brooklyn. He records videos to show his technology students how to design projects in TinkerCad.

What are some simple, inexpensive screencasting tools?

1. Screencastify
This is a Chrome extension, found here. Install the extension, then find your video stored on the Screencastify web site. Copy the URL link to your video and post it!

2. Screencast-o-matic
Grab the free version at first until you figure out if you need more advanced video production and editing tools. Your video will be saved wherever you want it, and then you can upload it to your YouTube or Vimeo channel.

3. SMART Notebook tool: SMART Recorder
Inside SMART Notebook there is a screen recording tool called SMART Recorder. Here’s a tutorial that shows you how to use it.

4. ScreenFlow [paid, for Macs]
This free version gives you temporary access to a $129 product. While most teachers won’t need its full set of editing and production tools, it is fun to use for anyone who wants to take their video tutorials to the next level.

5. PowerPoint [recommended version 2016 or newer]
Inside your PowerPoint slide presentation, go to Insert > Screen Recording. This tool allows you to use your screen and built-in microphone and save your video as a separate file or embed it into your slide. See this tutorial.

6. QuickTime [Macs]
Go to File > New Screen Recording to capture your Mac screen and make your tutorial video. Here’s a great article to show you how.

7. Windows 10 Game DVR
Did you know that your Windows 10 computer has a built-in screen recording tool? It is called the Xbox Game Bar. Press Windows+G in any application on Windows 10. The Game Bar will appear. Select “Yes, this is a game.” See this article (scroll down to the Windows 10 part).

Whether you need a quick video to post for absent students or want to build up a video tutorial library for review of classroom concepts, screencasting is one of my favorite ways to support my students. I hope this post has given you some ideas to try and jump into the screencasting world.

If you want to learn about other types of instructional technology for your classroom, try signing up for a free trial of OTIS for educators.

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