If you’ve ever watched a how-to video to learn how to use a tech tool, you’ve probably watched a ‘screencast.’ Screencasts are recordings of your computer screen, including your narration. Screencastify is a free, simple Screencasting tool that you and your students can use to record your screen, your voice, and/or your webcam on a Chromebook or a Mac.

Screencastify instantly stores your recordings in your Google Drive, and with one click, you have a link that you can share in Schoology or elsewhere. It also has drawing tools and other features to emphasize important parts of your screen.

I ask teachers in my online PD courses to create a screencast to show what they learned, and they consistently tell me that learning to screencast is one of the most valuable parts of the course.

Teachers can create screencasts to
  • Show students step-by-step instructions for an important online task
  • Read a passage to students for differentiation
  • Flip your classroom by recording mini-lessons students watch at home
  • Speak directly to your students for sub plans (here's an example)
  • Create brief instructional videos to give students directions at stations in your classroom
Students can create screencasts to
  • Narrate and explain their learning process (Ryan Allen's 7th graders did this)
  • Narrate a Google Slideshow, then share the link in a Schoology discussion, instead of everyone presenting in front of the whole class
  • Record themselves reading their original poetry, then share with parents (Julie Allen's GSES 4th graders did that this week!)
  • Create brief instructional videos to teach their classmates about a topic
To get started with Screencastify, make sure you're using Google Chrome as your browser. Then just click here to install the Screencastify extension, and follow the prompts to connect it to your Google Drive. That's it! You can start recording right away.

Try recording a few simple 'throw away' videos to play around with all the features, and you'll be a pro in minutes. Your students can follow the same steps, or we can install Screencastify on their Chromebooks remotely. Here's a 3-minute video showing each of these steps (and guess what? it's a screencast!), which you use yourself or show your students to help them get started with Screencastify. As always, email me for support with this or any other tech integration need!


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