Screencasting is the ability to capture, store, and share video of your device’s screen (PC, Mac or otherwise) — with audio or webcam footage if desired — and it’s exploding in popularity in K-12 classrooms.
A new generation of simple, lightweight screencasting tools is having an impact on education across the globe. With these tools, educators can quickly and easily record lectures, including their screen content, plus real-time audio and video of their instruction.
Check out these 10 benefits of screencasting for both teachers and students, plus four extra helpful resources.
📈 Why screencasting is growing in popularity in the education sector
Screencasting has seen tremendous growth in the education sector, including in higher education, but particularly in K-12. The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant driver, as educators scrambled for tools to make distance learning and hybrid classrooms less burdensome.
But even in 2019, screencasting was on the rise, with education accounts making up 50% of global demand for screencasting tools. And in the same year, 79% of teachers said they used video in the classroom as part of their regular instruction.
Simply put, screencasting is growing in popularity because of its immense benefits to educators and students alike. Let’s explore them now.
👩🏫 Benefits of screencasting for teachers
1. Creates versatility in your teaching and classroom style
With an easy-to-use screencasting tool, you can gain incredible versatility in how you approach your teaching and classroom style. You can easily utilize flipped classroom, blended classroom, or hybrid classroom approaches to teaching. You can even pivot between these as often as you need based on course content or external changes like virtual learning days.
And if fully remote learning becomes necessary, you can quickly transition to fully remote learning. Screencasting and other video technologies make the transition as smooth as possible.
You can use screencasting in multiple ways, too, with and without your webcam. For example, check out these 10 ways to use audio recordings in your classroom, no video needed. And learn more about taking different approaches to teaching in this episode of EdTech Heroes:
2. Lets you scale your lessons and learning resources
Every teacher knows the feeling of explaining the same concept countless times in a given week. Some aspects of face-to-face instruction and class time are naturally repetitive, and it can be hard to keep some students engaged while you answer questions and repeat concepts to others.
Using a screen recording tool to create screencast videos is a great way to hack this kind of repetitive instruction. You can create videos that address common questions and then share them with multiple students, classrooms, or even schools.
You might even be able to repurpose some of your instructional videos for other contexts. For example, you can share them endlessly with colleagues or even upload some of your best content to a site like Teachers Pay Teachers.
Additionally, consider the value of building your library of videos over time. When you teach this course again next year, you’ll already have a foundation of content you can reuse. No more single-use lessons!
3. Provides more opportunity for personalization
Video recording using screencasting tools can also be a great way to create personalized instruction, such as assignments for single students (see above), as well as 1:1 student feedback. You can do this using your webcam or even providing audio narration while you scroll through and highlight portions of a student assignment.
Video is much more friendly and personable than red ink on paper, and showing an assignment on your computer screen while discussing it can be much more valuable.
Providing feedback this way may even be faster. If you’re a solid extemporaneous speaker, meaning you can deliver information without having to write and memorize a script or read off a paper, you can create this kind of feedback video in little more than the time it takes you to say what you’d usually say in the classroom.
With the right tech tools, you won’t have to deal with time-consuming video editing. Just click, speak, and send. Download the free Screencastify extension for Chrome to see how easy it is to start recording and sharing.
4. Allows for creative teaching innovations
If the years have taught us anything about teachers, it’s that they are a creative lot! For example, to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers have found new and innovative ways to use existing tools, and some have even created their own tools.
The truth is, anyone can think outside the box and use educational technology tools to be innovators or trailblazers. And many of the latest tools are so user-friendly, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to innovate with them.
There’s practically no limit to the learning activities or class activities that you can adapt using screencasting. Field trips, storytelling, parents sharing their career stories — they can all be explored and shared with video and audio and tailored to fit your learning environment.
5. Helps with teacher training and curriculum transparency
We usually think of screencasting technology as something connected to the teacher-student relationship, but it can also be a professional development tool.
It’s never been easier to share lessons with team leaders or principals in your school or district, including video and audio showing how you taught the lesson. The pedagogy feedback can be instrumental in your own professional growth and career path.
Along the same lines, if you’re an experienced teacher, you could use the same content to train other teachers and teacher’s assistants (TAs).
If you’re in a school that has adopted a blended or hybrid model, you may have new non-teaching staff supervising learning centers or computer labs. Quick video clips and tutorials can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of these new staff members.
6. Keeps absent students from falling behind
Screencasting is a powerful tool for keeping absent students from falling behind. With a tool like Screencastify, recording a lecture is as simple as a few clicks, so it doesn’t add to your workload.
By using screencasting, you’ll allow students who need to be out of the classroom for one reason or another to continue accessing learning materials. Students can watch at their own pace and catch up to their in-person peers.
Whether students are absent due to vacation, extended sickness, suspension, or some other reason, screencasting keeps them up to speed. See the video above for an example!
7. Lets you easily edit videos for more accuracy, privacy, and succinct lessons
Accidents happen in the classroom. Teachers misspeak, share something that turns out to be inaccurate, show a sensitive browser tab instead of their PowerPoint presentation, or make any number of other mistakes.
That’s OK! We’re all human.
One of the great things about screencasting tools is that users can go back and edit their videos. The tools aren’t complicated or difficult to learn, and you can quickly delete or re-record over confusing or inaccurate moments. You can even blur out sensitive data that was accidentally displayed, like grades or your Gmail inbox.
Another way to use these editing capabilities is to customize or condense lessons based on students’ learning needs. You’ll increase student engagement when you shorten and streamline your video content.
🧑🎓 Benefits of screencasting for students
8. Allows them to thrive, no matter their learning style or location
Screencasting classroom instruction allows students to interact with material in their own way and at their own pace — wherever they are. Students can play videos multiple times if necessary or pause the videos and take notes.
Whether students prefer visuals, audio, or reading, screencasting gives them interactive options. It can be especially helpful for English language learners (ELLs) and those with additional learning needs.
9. Lets them communicate in a safe, comfortable environment
Screencasting technology isn’t just for teachers. Students can use it, too!
Not all students are comfortable with public speaking or even asking clarification questions in front of their classmates. Screencasting gives students a mode of presenting and interacting with their teachers in a controlled way. This method of sharing can reduce stress while still allowing students to practice their presentation skills.
10. Lets them become the creators and develop tech skills
Students will quickly become familiar with basic video technologies, editing, and communication via digital mediums when screencasting is a part of their assignments. These are all important things to learn as the world continues to head in a digital direction.
Screencasting and video-based learning allow students to practice, get creative, and be better prepared for their futures.
📚 Recommended screencasting resources for teachers
We’ve covered the benefits of screencasting for everyone in the classroom — but where should you start? These four resources will help you quickly get up to speed so you can screencast like a pro:
24 Tips for Creating High-Quality Screencasts: Brilliant, high-quality screencasts don’t happen by accident. These 24 tips for improving your screencast quality will help you polish your results in record time.
Screencasting Courses by Screencastify: Using Screencastify for basic screen recording is super easy to do. But if you want to go deeper into editing video and creating interactive content, or just get a crash course on how to screencast, these free online courses will teach you how.
Screencastify Help Center: Most of the time, Screencastify just works. But if you get stuck while using Screencastify or something isn’t working the way you want, the Screencastify Knowledge Base is the place to look for answers.