A screencast is a video recording of what’s happening on your computer monitor, often with annotations and/or narration. It can be simple or sophisticated, anything from a whiteboard presentation to a slideshow to a movie-like video. With Common Core’s emphasis on understanding and explaining tasks, screencasts are a great way for both students and teachers to share the required steps in completing a math problem, collaborate on close reading, or pursue any other literacy activity.
Screencast tools may be web-based, software, or a browser add-on and include some or all of the following:
- a spotlight for the mouse
- the presenter picture, usually in the right corner
- ability to edit the video once completed
- ability to upload to YouTube, the Cloud, or another common file sharing location
There are a lot of reasons to use screencasts:
- Record procedures and answer common questions.
- Give students audio-visual feedback (the next best thing to a 1:1 conversation).
- Record lessons that students can access anytime, anywhere.
- Make a video to help the substitute teacher.
- Communicate using a media students love — videos.
- Provide video evidence of class activities in a flipped classroom.
- Create a live recording during a class activity or a student presentation.
- Share student-created content as part of homework or a class activity.
- Provide training videos for both faculty and students.
- Offer a fun, unique approach to digital storytelling.
Once you’ve selected your preferred tool for screencasting, here are tips to make it easier and more effective:
When you were a child, your parents worried that the educational content you were learning might be out of date. Did history include the most relevant theories? Did science have the latest discoveries (and was Pluto still a planet)? When you became a teacher, you probably thought one of your big responsibilities was to stay current in your subject. You’re right–but today, ‘current’ is as much about content as how the message is delivered.
And delivery more and more often is powered by technology.
But when you read about tech tools used in cutting edge schools, your stomach churns. Is there enough PD time in your life to teach you all the tech you need to know? What if you can’t learn it?
Truth, you don’t have to know all 2878 (and counting) tech tools being used around the country. You just need to know five. Learn them. Use them with students. Expect them to use them. When those are solid, pick five more.
Ready? Here are your first five: