I have been enjoying some screencasts made by our technology integrationist in our school district and thinking to myself, “I need to try that soon!” This Thing 8 was the perfect opportunity. I read a couple articles about screencasting and after some investigating I started by trying Google Hangouts but then read somewhere that it’s not as simple as some of the Google apps available. I then added the Screencastify app to my chrome browser and tried it out. I chose Screencastify because it is compatible with chromebooks which our school is switching over to this year. Screencastify is also free up to ten minutes.
I made this screencast of the NARA website:
It is very basic and more for me to try out Screencastify and also to explore and get to know the website, but if you like, you can watch 🙂
After I made the video, I found the tools to enhance a Screencastify including, highlighting the mouse, writing on the screen, and even a video of me in the corner. That makes a great presentation tool.
Making a screencast was a bit nerve wracking and forced me to really think about what I wanted to say before I began recording. Even with a few practice runs I still don’t feel like it is a perfect screencast. This activity could be really valuable for students because it would force them to plan and practice.
I read in How to Record Your Screen and Create Engaging Screencast a blog by Maddy Bentley, that students will pay attention to an instructional video for no more than 6 minutes. I know for myself that my attention span while using a computer is shorter than usual and I especially have no patience for videos because most of the time I can scan a page and find what I’m looking for in seconds. I don’t want to listen to introductions and how-to’s.
Screencasting would be a great way for students to explain their research process after completing a project. Now that I’ve tried it, I will keep it in mind for my fifth graders for next year.