Screencasting is great way to deliver audio and visual information to your students. If you have been looking for a way to record your lessons, or you’d like to deliver some formative assessment of student work using your voice as well as your pen, check this post for information about Jing, Screenr, CamStudio and other tools that make this happen.
Making a “screencast” simply means that you are creating a video using your microphone and whatever is displaying on your computer screen. A program captures both the audio and video and then makes them into a seamless package you can upload to Moodle, e-mail to a student, or drop onto a flash drive.
Three popular tools that make this happen are Jing, Screenr, and CamStudio.
Jing is the most full-function tool of the three. Sporting both an image capture and annotation tool as well as a video recorder, Jing enables teachers to take screen shots with a keyboard shortcut as well as videos up to 5 minutes in length. Teachers I have known use Jing as a way to capture equations, record directions for playback from their websites, and, at least in one case, record a physics animation in order to use it on an online assessment. I recently came across a foreign language teacher who is using Jing to record her feedback on student papers. She writes:
“As long as I have been grading papers, I have been talking to myself while I grade — a habit that drives everyone around me nuts, except for those of my colleagues who do the same. And truth be told, I’m really not talking to myself, I’m talking to the student whose paper I’m grading, except my words float uselessly unheard into the atmosphere, never to help develop anyone’s writing at all.”
For this teacher, the ability to capture her thoughts via video has been helpful for her own understanding of student progress as well as beneficial feedback for her kids. If you’d like more info, you can read her full blog post.
Jing’s drawbacks are that it is a program that must be installed, and there is a five-minute limit to screencasts you capture.
Screenr is an entirely online tool – one that is as available to students as well as teachers – and it creates a nice collection of your videos once you’ve created them (an example of my ‘channel’). It still has the same 5 minute limit as Jing.
The potential for Screenr, especially at the secondary level, is that students can create these videos just as easily as their teachers. Students can create tutorial videos on the use of specific websites, short narrated presentations (conveniently limited to five minutes), or teach mini-lessons as part of an assignment.
CamStudio is another program that must be installed on your machine, but it allows you to record as long as you’d like. This allows teachers to record full lessons or lectures, if they have a specific need to do so. I prefer this tool to others, like the built-in screen recorder in Smart Notebook, because it won’t slow your computer too much and you have more options for saving different video file types.
If you’re only looking to capture and annotate web pages, I’ll throw one more tool in for good measure: the Awesome Screenshot tool, a great Chrome and Firefox extension from the social bookmarking service Diigo. If you ever wanted to capture a screenshot of an entire webpage, this is the tool that will help you do it.
Know of another great screencasting tool? Feel free to include it in the comments below!
This is cross-posted over at drewmcallister.net