Thursday, January 21, 2016

Screencastify - An Alternative to YouTube Webcam Capture

YouTube announced last week it was closing down it's (I guess not very) popular webcam capture feature that allowed you to record a video directly to YouTube instead of having to record somewhere else, then upload. This was a huge blow to our speech teacher, who has kids set their Chromebooks on a table to record their speeches so they can reflect and critique themselves.
The alternative we are using is the Screencastify Chrome extension. I've mentioned Screencastify in the past as a screencasting tool, but there is also the option to just record what the camera sees, basically the same thing that the YouTube capture did. Just like screen recordings, the video is then saved to either Google Drive or YouTube, whichever the user prefers. In talking with the speech teacher this morning, he said that it actually seems to be working better than the YouTube webcam capture. They would periodically have videos that stop uploading to YouTube and students would lose them. They haven't had those issues so far. The free version limits you to ten minutes of recording, but most of the speeches that students are recording fall under that limit. The Google Drive option could also be a little more reassuring for students who many be a bit apprehensive about accidentally posting their practice speech to the public on YouTube. 

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