Cool Tools for Schools, Thing 19: Screencasting and Screen Sharing

I’m not a stranger to screencasting (I’ve done a few here and there over the years) but I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve on something I use and/or get new ideas for ways to use it in the classroom.

What I currently do: Right now, I primarily use screencasting for technology directions when I’m going to be out and have a sub. That way, the sub’s level of expertise on a given technology doesn’t make or break the lesson. I’ve wanted to pre-make instructional videos for commonly used tools in the library or questions we get asked often (how do I find X on the library website?) but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve also used the Apple TV in my library to share my iPad screen on the smartboard so I can demo apps to students before they use them.

What I looked at: I spent some time on the Shaking Up Learning website and looked at posts on How to Insert Super Cool GIFs in Google Docs and Slides and How to Create Screencast GIFs amongst others. I have to admit, it had never occured to me to try to insert a GIF into a Google slide instead of a static image! I had mixed results with the Gyazo GIF

Chrome extension mentioned in the 2nd link. It worked great at home but seems to be blocked at school. I could add the Chrome extension to my browser and I can launch it but, it just gets stuck at that point if I’m at work. Then, after a few weeks of experimenting with it at home, it stopped working because my laptop didn’t have the latest version of something or other.

I also loved this suggestion I found:

“when Google Slides (or any other slide software) – Take screenshots of what you want to explain. Annotate them as needed. Pop them into a Google Slides document (or powerpoint or other slides program). Put the your Slides program in Present mode and turn on your screencasting app to record your audio as you go through the slides.”

Again, it had never occured to me to do a screen cast this way! Brilliant!

What I’d like to do with them: I’d love to use the GIF creator and the tip about Google Slides to make my instructional videos for my subs even more fun and engaging (but also easier on myself)! I’d also love to create some of those quick instructional videos I mentioned earlier. Since Gyazo Gif got my hooked then quit on me, I searched around for an alternative. I found some thing called Nimbus Screenshot and Screen Video Recorder. It’s an extension you can get for Chrome and there’s a free version and a Pro version. There are a few options with the Pro version, including a one time purchase of $14.99 for an individual account. I ended up going with that option since it gave me the ability to not only turn my screen recordings into GIFs but also gives you the ability to save your videos and gifs right to Google Drive or Google Classroom!

Here’s one I made for teachers wondering how to sign up for technology using the library website (something new we started this year):

As you can see from the “How Do I…?” page, I’d still like to tutorials for:

  • Using the library’s OPAC to find books
  • Locating and using the SEARCH page to find databases
  • Finding our streaming media service

I’d also like to eventually add tutorials for:

  • Logging into Google Classroom
  • Creating classes/assignments in Google Classroom
  • Reviewing/grading assignments in Google Classroom
  • Using Google Slides
  • Logging into Typing Club

What I’d like students to do with them: Still thinking about those library centers of mine, I think it would be fun to give students a task where they use an app like Seesaw to annotate a picture and explain something. Like, label the parts of the book in this picture and tell me one piece of information you can get from each part.

Older kids could do a quick screen cast of them performing a skill and submit it as a Google Classroom assignment before moving on to the next step. For example, I recently taught my 5th graders how to use the Explore icon in Google Slides to insert a picture, rather than going directly to Google Images. How cool would it have been to have shown them that skill and then sent them to the computers to record a quick screencast of themselves showing me they knew how to do it themselves, submitting it as a Google assignment and, only being allowed to earn their “inserting images badge” and being allowed to add pictures to their slides after I graded it and they “passed”???

I’ve loved using screencasting to make my subs lives easier and now I can’t wait to add that same level of independence and ease to my teachers and students lives with all these fun new screencasting tools in my arsenal!

2 thoughts on “Cool Tools for Schools, Thing 19: Screencasting and Screen Sharing

  1. Fun idea to have students do a quick screencast to earn their badges. Thanks for the Nimbus recommendation. I’m going to take a look at that. And glad you think my tip on screenshots, google slides and screencasting is brilliant! :) I thought it was kind of clever too.

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