Loom vs. Screencastify: Which Screencasting Software Is Best for Educators and Students?
With as many as 25% of K-12 schools going virtual or hybrid during the 2020-2021 school year, educators and school districts have been scrambling for the right support tools.
For many, screencasting software has become essential for delivering engaging video-based educational content. Thankfully, today’s top screen recording tools are super user-friendly, compatible with a range of devices, and packed with helpful features.
Loom and Screencastify are two popular screen recording tools, and they both make direct claims about serving the education market. But which of these tools is actually better for teachers and educators, especially in the K-12 space?
Below, we’ll drill down into both of these screencast tools, helping you determine which screen recording software solution is better for your needs as an educator.
An overview of Screencastify
Screencastify is a simple to use, lightweight screencasting tool that works as a Chrome extension. Any device that can run the desktop version of Chrome can run Screencastify, including PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks. Screencastify Submit can also be used on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. That means there’s no separate app to install or compatibility issues to worry about.
Screencastify is made by educators with the needs of both teachers and students in mind. It offers educators the ability to quickly and easily record content from their screens and add audio or webcam narration if desired. Screencastify also includes a suite of editing tools.
In addition to its recording 🎥 and editing ✂️ tools, Screencastify also offers the ability to assign and collect video submissions via magic links, giving educators everything they need to make video-based assignments a reality.
Users can get started with Screencastify free with the option to upgrade to the paid unlimited version for more great functionality. Learn more about Screencastify's mission in this episode of EdTech Heroes!
An overview of Loom
Loom, like Screencastify, is a lightweight screencasting tool that works as a Chrome extension and lives in your browser (at least on your Mac or PC). There’s also a more robust desktop app available with a different interface.
Loom also supports iOS and Android via associated mobile apps. This additional support is beneficial for some, though it’s a third separate interface to learn — adding complexity that isn’t particularly helpful for most educators.
Loom is primarily designed for a business audience and is meant to make it easier for coworkers to communicate and share knowledge. The primary use case is a hybrid office workflow, where employees may need to record video calls, present to a group in a virtual meeting, or record tutorials or explanations.
As a business-focused tool, Loom integrates well with Slack. The company is exploring other integrations, such as Salesforce and Jira. It also offers a development kit which allows developers to set up integrations with other work apps.
Despite the heavy business focus, Loom promises a free version for educators. It comes with several caveats. The “free” educator account is limited to a single creator, which means your students aren’t able to create content. The video length is also capped at 45 minutes, which could hinder lecture recordings. In addition, viewers are limited to reacting via emojis 😐.
Screencastify vs. Loom: Comparing the features that teachers and students need
Every screencasting tool offers a unique set of features based on the audience it’s targeting. As we mentioned, Screencastify focuses on education while Loom focuses on businesses, but both may have something to offer your school.
Let’s take a look at the features that teachers and students need most and how Screencastify and Loom stack up across six crucial categories:
- Video quality, features, and user-friendliness
- Video editing options
- Video sharing, exporting, and integrations
- Video analytics
- Video security and privacy
- Education-focused resources
Video quality, features, and user-friendliness 👍
Both Screencastify and Loom score well in terms of core features.
In terms of video quality, both apps record full HD video of the user’s webcam and screen. Both apps allow users to annotate videos and see video analytics, such as how many people watched the video. Both offer unlimited video recording, meaning you can upload an unlimited number of videos to the platform.
Screencastify has a standout feature for the K-12 education space: the ability to embed interactive questions into your videos. Teachers can add questions for students, which they can answer, right within the video. Teachers can then grade their answers or incorporate their responses into an enriching class discussion.
Loom, with its focus on business clientele rather than educators, has no capability beyond emoji reactions.
As for user-friendliness, Screencastify has a clean and simple user interface across the supported platforms and devices. By contrast, Loom offers Android, iOS, PC desktop, and Chrome extension versions of its app, and each interface is slightly different than the others. For teachers 🧑🏫, this can be a hindrance.
For example, say your main classroom device is a PC desktop, while your mobile device is an Android. At home, you may use an iPhone or iPad as well. To use Loom effectively across devices means learning multiple versions of the interface. The problem compounds further if you want to teach students how to use the app.
Video editing options 🎬
Both Loom and Screencastify offer video editing options, but Screencastify’s editor offers far more.
Loom’s primary focus is on producing a quick video that you can send to a colleague or other internal professional. There isn’t an emphasis on the video being very engaging for a learning experience — it’s all about instant sharing and watching. It also isn’t designed with the ability to obscure or censor sensitive on-screen information (like student data, contact information, or grades).
Loom allows for easy video trimming, but even this basic editing feature was only a recent addition to Loom. You won’t find much more than this in the app’s editor.
Screencastify, on the other hand, is much more robust. It’s meant to create videos quickly, but the Screencastify team knows that educators will need to trim or enhance videos in ways that business users might not.
In the Screencastify editor, you can modify video content in these ways:
- Give clips a title
- Trim and crop video
- Zoom in or out
- Blur areas
- Add text
- Merge and rearrange clips
- Import external video from your computer or Google Drive
Best of all, the Editor is 100% browser-based 🖥,, so you can edit from virtually anywhere and any device.
Video sharing, exporting, and integrations 📼
Screencastify integrates with the education-focused platforms and services that matter to teachers. This includes Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Google Classroom and edtech platforms such as PlayPosit, Remind, and Wakelet. You can easily upload to Edpuzzle as well.
Loom doesn’t have built-in integrations with any classroom tools or edtech platforms. The platform is clearly focused on the business crowd with its Slack and Jira integrations.
In terms of video sharing, both apps allow you to share 1080p recordings as MP4 files and don’t put any watermarks on the footage.
Screencastify offers a lot more capabilities surrounding exporting and sharing, though, including these features that Loom doesn’t match:
- Publish directly to YouTube
- Share with Google Classroom
- Upload to Edpuzzle
- Export files as GIFs
- Export audio only
- Create shareable links to easily share recordings
We should also talk about where all these videos go once you make them. With Screencastify, saved videos upload automatically to Google Drive. On Loom, videos are saved to Loom’s own servers, creating one more barrier between you and your content.
Screencastify also has a Submit tool that allows teachers to create and assign video assignments to students. Students can then create and turn in those assignments via your school’s LMS or a web link.
It’s worth noting that the analytics provided by Loom are more robust than those in Screencastify. However, both are more than adequate at providing analytics for their desired audiences. The additional depth in Loom might be useful to a business audience, but it likely isn’t relevant for educators.
Video security and privacy
Video security and privacy should be top of mind for anyone creating video content. But it’s especially important in education, where teachers and school districts may be held liable for privacy violations and student safety concerns.
Screencastify has taken the time to get appropriate certifications related to education, data, and privacy, including FERPA, COPPA and CSPC. Loom hasn’t done this, although the company claims to follow the same guidelines including in the certifications.
Additionally, Screencastify attempts to collect the least amount of data possible and gives you ownership of your videos within your Google Drive account.
Loom, on the other hand, stores your videos on its servers. It shares data with external partners and doesn’t allow you to delete videos permanently (you can only archive them). That means that if you inadvertently created and saved a video containing sensitive student information, you can’t permanently remove the video.
Education-focused resources 🎓
Having the right tool is a good first step, but educators also need inspiration and education on creative and helpful ways to use video in the classroom (and outside of it). This is especially true for online-focused educators. When trained to use their tech tool set effectively, they can boost engagement and create new learning pathways.
Screencastify produces tons of great content to meet these needs on an ongoing basis. You’ll find content explaining current and new educational uses for video, courses and tutorials to help teachers and students, and more. Check out the Educational Resources page, which includes all sorts of videos, podcasts, webinars, and blog posts.
And if you’re looking for training or professional development opportunities, dive into Screencastify University 👩🎓. Here, you can deepen your knowledge and earn certifications using Screencastify’s tools and modules.
Loom doesn’t offer much of anything that could be called an education-focused resource. As we’ve mentioned, the company clearly targets the business community, not educators.
As a result, the resources on Loom’s site are much more focused on work-based content. You’ll find content on topics like the modern workplace or creating a company culture using communication tools, but nothing with special relevance to educators.
Which tool is right for you? Screencastify or Loom?
So, after looking at the various features and focuses of the two tools, which one is better for your needs — Screencastify or Loom?
The truth is that a Sceencastify vs. Loom comparison is essentially an apples-and-oranges comparison 🍎🍊 . The two tools are far away from each other in terms of audience, intent, and resources.
If you’re in marketing, sales, or a private industry, you might benefit more from the business integrations and fast-and-ready video approach that Loom takes. This is especially true if your business relies on Slack, Trello, or Jira, as Loom has connections that Screencastify doesn’t.
On the other hand, for anyone in the world of education (especially K-12 education), Screencastify is the far superior tool for you. It’s more robust and simply better at helping teachers create and edit educational videos. You can then share your recordings with anyone you need, including students, teachers, parents, and administrators.
Find out why school districts love using Screencastify
Screencastify is the better choice, for individual teachers and school districts as a whole. Educators in 70% of districts use our platform, taking advantage of the user-friendly feature set, easy interface, and plentiful training resources to get up and running in no time.
Empowering all teachers in a district can ease burdens on teachers and students alike. By getting everyone on board using the same tool, you’ll see efficiency gains and create a pathway to success for everyone.
But don’t just take our word for it. Find out for yourself what real teachers and districts have to say about using Screencastify. Read about Screencastify for teachers or Screencastify for districts.