Snag a screencast from your browser
Screencasts are narrated videos of what’s happening on a computer screen. You can use one to
- Create a course introduction or show how to use a piece of software
- Explain a difficult concept or demonstrate a website
- Tell a story or capture a presentation
At the end of this post I’ve listed some resources for those who want to know more about using screencasts for teaching and learning.
With the Snagit for Google Chrome extension, provided for free by our friends at Techsmith, you can make a screencast or screenshot of anything on your screen. After capturing an image or video the extension “shares” it, meaning the file is saved to a special folder in your Google Drive space.
The screencast (video capture) option creates an AVI file, but there is no editing functionality. Plan to record multiple takes until you’re happy. If a Mac user wants to edit the AVI file, they’ll need to convert it to MOV or MP4 (try Smart Converter).
The still image capture (screenshot) option produces a PNG file and allows users to add text, arrows, circles, or squares in one of four colors.
Available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chromebook (not for iOS or Android), Snagit for Google Chrome is a stripped-down version of Techsmith’s Snagit software. For less than $30 (educator price) the full-blown version exports to MP4, provides basic video editing, and adds many options for screenshots — well worth the investment!
Tip o’ the hat to Notre Dame doctoral student Rachel Banke for bringing this to my attention. She used the tool to produce a how-to video (below) while participating in the Teaching Well Using Technology program.
Put screencasting to work for you
- Screencasting 101 – video overview (TechSmith)
- Three sets of tips for screencasting (NspireD2)
- Screencasting to Engage Learning (Techsmith)
- Top Five Ways to Use Screencasting in the Classroom (Educause)