Thursday, September 11, 2014

Screencasting made simple with the Screencastify Chrome Extension

Moving to a Chromebook 1:1 environment, I've been searching for ways to do screencasting that students could use.
Screenshot from EdTech Teacher's website
Thanks to EdTech Teacher's App Recommendations website, I found a free Chrome extension called Screencastify that allows you to record your screen and/or your webcam, pick up sounds from your computer or mic, then quickly publish to either Google Drive or YouTube. That video could be shared in a lot of places - email, linked in a Google Doc, etc. For me, it has been working very well! There are not any editing features, although you could use Screencastify and then download the video into a video editor of your choice. 
As I was talking with an English teacher today about using Google Classroom, we were talking about her having to be gone this afternoon for a sub, but she was trying to leave directions for students. It's not necessarily feasible to leave a substitute teacher your district GAFE credentials, and Google Classroom does not currently allow for "co-teachers," meaning we couldn't create any sort of "dummy" account for the sub to use. So, especially since teachers are still introducing this to their class, how do we properly give directions without giving someone else our district log in information? Screencastify would be a PERFECT tool for this. The teacher could give students a tutorial of what to do or where to go, a reminder about accessing files or resources, etc. Once the video is uploaded to Drive or YouTube, the link could be somehow shared with the sub to play for students. Maybe even put in Google Classroom in case they have questions during the day. Creating a video in Screencastify could be a lot quicker than actually writing out the plans. Just leave five videos for the sub, one for each period or subject!

Update: Heather Callihan saw this post and shared that the tech challenge for her staff this month is on Screencastify. Click here to see her challenge.

Check out the examples below and put in the comments other extensions or ways that you have students using screencasting in the classroom!

Here is a Screencastify example only using the microphone and screen recording:

Here is a video I did for my staff that also used the picture-in-picture webcam recording:

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