Screencasting, or recording a video of your computer screen for your students to see, is invaluable to teachers. Screencasting software is one of the best ways to record tutorials and "how-to" videos to share with your class.
Yet, to use screen recording tech in the classroom, you need more than just a webcam. The right screencasting software, app, or extension is critical for sending videos to your students' devices.
The Screencastify team has your needs covered. This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of the various screencasting apps for teachers. And see why tech tools are crucial for engagement in this episode of EdTech Heroes ⬇️
Important screencasting software features for educators and students 🎬
Screencasting has many benefits for both teachers and students. Yet without the right screencasting software for teachers, you're going to struggle to record and use video in your classroom in a meaningful way.
So what makes a platform the right one? Before digging in and discussing the best screencasting programs to use, first, you must understand what features are most important for teachers and students.
You need a program that has functionality for you as the teacher and is easy to incorporate into your students' learning experiences. These are some things to look for:
- Easy-to-use recorder: You don't want to be fumbling with the recorder when you're ready to record videos.
- Can record both screen and webcam footage: You might want to record your screen for a tech tutorial or use the computer's webcam to record something you're doing on paper, so look for both features.
- Can create interactive video features: Check features for the ability to ask questions, record polls, and take student responses.
- Ability to add annotations: Whether you need to quote a source or add a note about a student assignment, annotations are helpful as you create usable videos for your classroom.
- Secure and private: You need your program to be FERPA and COPPA compliant to protect your students and their privacy.
- Integrates with your other educational tools: Make sure you can implement the program with your existing educational tools and your school's learning management system (LMS).
- Ability to export, upload, and share videos: Creating videos is important, but sharing them with your students and allowing students to export and upload videos is also vital.
- Affordable: Schools often have tight tech budgets, so look for a program with an affordable or free version.
5 best screencasting apps for teachers 💻
If you are looking for the right educational technology to allow you to create and share videos in your school or classroom, we've compiled a list of the top five. Each of these screen recording tools can help you with your video creation goals.
1. Screencastify (Chrome extension and screencasting tool)
Screencastify is a program created to fill the need for video recording, editing and sharing programs for schools. It works exceptionally well with a flipped classroom model. It gives teachers the ability to record themselves explaining challenging concepts, provide those videos to the students, and even use screencasts to communicate with parents.
Because Screencastify is built by educators, its primary audience is teachers and students. Each tool in the program is there because it has a direct impact and benefit for educators.
- Retain ownership of your videos
- All videos get stored in Google Drive
- Share with many popular LMS platforms and anywhere with a link
- Video editor allows you to edit videos at any point after your initial creation
- Add Interactive Questions and other features whenever you need
- Record via screen and webcam
- Compatible with any device with the Chrome browser
- Has a robust free version, so teachers can start using the program right away
- It’s only compatible with devices running the desktop version of Google Chrome, however the Submit feature works on nearly any device
Edpuzzle has two main features, a search tool that lets students and teachers search, edit and assign existing videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, TED Talks, and Vimeo. Second, it has a content creation platform. Many users will tap into this platform to add text or voiceovers to existing videos rather than creating their own. However, the option to create video lessons or student-created content is possible as well. According to the University of Massachusetts, the program also features the ability to add interactive components to the video.
Edpuzzle works well for the flipped classroom.
- It can record both screen and webcam
- Offers quiz question feature
- Has a viewer analytics tool to help teachers analyze the success of their learning
- Taps into a robust selection of pre-created video content from trusted online sources
- Sharing videos can only happen within the Edpuzzle environment
- Features few editing options, such as no ability to crop, zoom, or blur videos
- No video assignment option
Screencast-O-Matic works for both Mac and Windows and offers the ability to record PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations among other things. Recordings are then uploaded to YouTube, Google Drive, Canvas, or another video publication site. You can also use the program to demonstrate a tool you’re using on your computer.
Screencast-O-Matic works for students, teachers, researchers, and school staff. Many universities use it to allow students and staff to utilize the same platform easily. It also works best with powerful computers, which may limit some student access.
- Allows the blurring of sensitive or protected information.
- Has editing features like the ability to trim videos, add title clips and text, crop, or zoom on videos.
- Lets the teacher or student capture both screen recordings and webcam recordings
- Lacks interactive questions video features
- Has different video editors based on the type of devices you use, such as a downloaded version for a PC or a Google Play Store app for Chromebook
- It doesn’t allow teachers to request videos from students easily
- It doesn’t allow groups to share each other's assignment access
4. Canvas Studio
Canvas Studio grew out of Canvas, a popular LMS. This particular platform is unique because it only works with Canvas, and it works well. If your district is already using Canvas as an LMS, it may make sense, but Canvas Studio will not integrate with other platforms.
- Offers interactive question option
- Tracks viewers so teachers can evaluate participation
- Has annotation tools
- Records screen and webcam footage
- Has many editing features
- Provides assignment access for group projects
- Only works with Canvas LMS
- Videos need to be edited immediately after saving, or you can't edit them
- Lacks Google Classroom integration
Loom is the final tool on this list. It offers a free plan for life for educators, which might make it appealing to many teachers, however it is not FERPA or COPPA certified. With this free plan, teachers get unlimited viewers, personal and shared libraries, the ability to record up to 45-minute videos, and an unlimited number of videos. It also has some interactive features and viewer tracking functionality.
This platform's original purpose was to help with business video production and sharing. Adding education came second, and as such, it lacks many editing options. The free plan works well for teachers who want to record and save videos for occasional use in their classroom. Still, its lack of interactive features may not work well in a flipped classroom where unlimited video lengths are essential.
- Has screen and webcam recording options
- Has annotation tools
- Provides viewer analytics
- Not FERPA or COPPA certified
- Hosts videos on its private servers, and teachers can only archive, not delete them
- It was a business platform first, so it integrates with work tools, not education platforms
- Lacks editing options such as adding text or blurring video
- Interactive questions aren’t supported for assessment
Try the Screencasting tool designed by educators for educators 🎓
While today's educators have several options at their disposal, Screencastify is the clear leader. Because teachers designed it, it supports teachers and students alike, providing tools educators need to succeed in the modern classroom.
Today, teachers in more than 70% of school districts use Screencastify to improve student learning, and the Chrome extension is always free. Start your video learning with Screencastify today.