If you are a teacher or business leader who enjoys his or her sanity, I recommend utilizing screencasts as often as you can.  A screencast is a video recording of your computer screen.  Say you are teaching a lesson on one method of solving an addition problem.  Rather than just demonstrating the method once or twice on your whiteboard in front of the class, record your screen as you model the strategy prior to the lesson.  When students arrive, show them the recording and then give them the assignment.  Those who struggle can come back to the screencast to watch it again (and again).  You are then free to move about the room and focus on other needs as they arise.

This same concept can be applied in a business setting as well.  Consider your onboarding process for new employees.  You likely have a lot of information and procedures to convey to new employees.  For common technology processes that employees often forget, consider utilizing screencasts. For example, do they often forget the path they need to take to locate a shared file in the cloud?  Create a screencast of the steps that they can refer to in the future.  Eventually, you can put together a library of screencasts that will help get your new employees up and running efficiently in your organization.  For any of the tools mentioned below, once the recording is completed a link is generated and it can be shared with students or other audiences online.

Here is a sample screencast to help you understand the concept.  The teacher is showing students how to use Google Drawing.

Benefits that teachers/leaders notice when they employ screencasts:

  • Your work life is simplified and you do not have to constantly repeat yourself.
  • Your lessons are more concise b/c it usually requires a few takes to record the content exactly how you want it.  Don’t be discouraged by this.  You know how a lesson or presentation goes much better the second and third times you lead it?  Same idea here except you get all of those practice runs out of the way prior to having real, live students/employees in front of you.  What you present to them the very first time around is polished and incredibly well thought out.
  • Learners are empowered to take more responsibility for learning since everything they need is contained in the video.  They have to re-watch it if they miss a step.  For students, I tell them I won’t answer questions for the first 4 minutes of work time.  They have to either look back through the video or ask a neighbor.  It works like a charm.
  • Absent students/employees can get caught up faster by watching your saved screencasts.
  • Parents can view your videos in case their child needs extra help at home.
  • You are building a resource database and can re-use the videos well into the future.

Chromebook users who wish to record screencasts can utilize the free  CaptureCast Chrome App.  Here is a video that shows you exactly how to download and use it.   If you are a PC user try Screencast-o-matic.  Mac User?  Put Quickcast to use.  In no time you can help make both your life and the lives of your students or employees much less complicated.

Let us know if you have questions, we’re happy to help!