5 Reasons to Invite Screencasting into Your Special Education Classroom

Emma Foley
Curriculum Specialist
Blog on August 04 2021

Girl in from of computer

If you ask most educators, especially after the journey education took in the past year or so, they would likely agree that screencasting can help transform the learning experience for students. As special educators, we are always looking for ways to engage and motivate our students, especially when we present them with rigorous activities that they may be hesitant to tackle independently.

We’re here to outline a few reasons why you should consider screencasting for your classroom. Regardless of whether you are supporting learners in a self-contained, inclusion, or general education setting, screencasting opens a number of opportunities for students with and without IEPs or 504 Plans. By the end of this read, you will likely be planning your next steps to transform your instruction and level the playing field for your students, giving each one a chance to succeed!

With all this in mind, let’s dive into five reasons to invite screencasting into your special education classroom to create a more accessible and engaging environment.

Reason #1: Create personalized, remedial lessons!

Screencasting is an easy way to create and push out personalized remedial videos. It goes without saying that repetition is key in a special education classroom. With the added ability to pause, rewind, and watch a screencast video as many times as needed, students will begin grasping tricky concepts in no time.

While on the topic of creating remedial videos, you may even want to task ‘expert’ students with creating the lesson video for you. Students in any setting, special ed. or general ed., love the opportunity to take on a teacher role!

Reason #2: Narrate over slide presentations!

Slide presentations are already awesome because you can customize them in so many ways like adding themes, Bitmojis, and animations. Aside from these features, you can transform your slide presentations through the use of screencast videos. Most presentation software, including Microsoft PowerPoint and SMART Notebook, give you the ability to narrate presentations through screen recording.

When it comes to these built-in screen recording features, you have a couple different options. The first option is to record narration beforehand. This is a great option for teachers who prefer to push out slide presentations to students to access asynchronously. If you prefer a synchronous learning environment, you can also use the recording feature to record your lecture as you go through your presentation with students. After you finish, you can house the narrated slide deck in a shared location so that students can access it whenever they need a quick refresher.

Let’s take a closer look at where you can find these screen recording options:

Microsoft PowerPoint:
The Screen Recording feature lives on the Insert tab in the top toolbar. Don’t worry about having to enable anything, it should automatically appear!

Microsoft PowerPoint Insert Menu with Screen Record on far right.

SMART Notebook:
The Recorder option can be found by right clicking on the SMART board icon on the bottom taskbar on your device:

A pop up window will then appear that makes it simple to start and stop screen recordings:

For other programs, such as Google Slides, you may want to consider using a screencasting software, such as Screencastify or Screencast-o-matic, to narrate over instructional materials. For more information on downloading theScreencastify extension or other screencasting extensions for your Chrome browser, try searching the Chrome Web Store.

Reason #3: Put a spin on traditional paper exit tickets!

Exit tickets hold a valuable spot in any classroom because you can pinpoint what students took away from the lesson and what still might be murky. If you have been looking for a way to put a spin on exit slips in your special education classroom, look no further! With access to a microphone, students can be more candid about their learning experience through a screencast. Among the many benefits, this will give you a better read on student understanding, especially when it comes to those students who communicate their thoughts better orally than through written language.

Reason #4: Transform those daunting rubrics!

If you’re anything like us, you are always looking for ways to make the rubric introduction process less daunting for your students. Rubrics can be overwhelming to create and read even as an adult, so imagine the thoughts running through students’ minds! Why not consider using screencasting when sharing rubric with your special education students? Not only can screencast videos clarify assignment expectations for your students, but you may also want to consider creating additional screencasts to provide targeted feedback after students have submitted their assignment.

Clear expectations, facilitated through screencasts combined with the actual rubric itself, will likely result in increased student ability to self-assess, make adjustments, and improve the overall quality of their work. That’s the goal right? We want to encourage our students to independently recognize areas in need of improvement and screencasting might just be part of the solution to this difficult task!

Reason #5: Record routines and procedures to manage classroom behavior!

Last but not least, screencasts make it possible for you to record routines and procedures for your classroom. All students, especially students in the special education setting, can benefit from the opportunity to revisit screencasts to help with transitions and other day-to-day classroom activities. In most cases, the possibility for students to revisit these screencasts will result in increased classroom management for you and greater accessibility for them . You can even use these videos when new admits integrate into your class!

Don’t forget that captions are an important part of accessibility as well. Pairing a screencast video with a closed caption file is a great way to give your students multiple ways to review material, or learn classroom procedures. We’ve all most likely experienced the occasional shortcomings of speech-to-text, so you may want to consider creating a closed captioning script which will help you to ensure accuracy of the generated closed caption file you will share with students.

To learn more about welcoming screencasting into your classroom, check out our screencasting courses on our online professional development platform OTIS for Educators.


For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.

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