I was very overwhelmed with all the information regarding content creation tools given by Alec in just 90 minutes. It was really difficult to even start with something. For a beginner like me, there was just so much out there and I was struggling with what to choose and how to use… Then I thought to return to Alec and Katia and seek help from them. I was suggested to start with tools like “screencastify”, “Lightshot” and/or just filming a video.
I started to learn and use “screencastify” and “lightshot” for my learning projects and I was amazed how convenient it is to use such tools to document and present my work. Technology has made it so easy to create your own unique and personalized work in less time. Until now, I have just been able to get my hands wet with these two tools but I am also making a DIY list for myself, to have some practical knowledge of technology that I can use in my future classrooms. So far, my list includes Prezi, Adobe spark, Edmodo, Google classroom, Windows movie maker, Kahoot, Whiteboard, and Seesaw. I am sure, I will keep adding things to my list as I am exposed to more tools and technology during my studies.
Overview of Screencastify:
Screencastify is an easy-to-use Chrome browser extension to record any action on the desktop or in a specific window. All we need to do is click its icon and initiate the recording process. The screen recorder supports the use of a microphone, and as far as storing options are concerned, we can save our videos either locally or to Google Drive. By default, it stores videos on Google Drive.
Following YouTube video helped me to learn how to record my desktop for my excel learning project. This video provides a good overview of ‘screencastify’.
Strengths of Screencastify:
- The unique thing about screencastify is that it’s a Google Chrome extension, very easy to install and use. To start using this tool on any device, we just need to log in to Chrome.
- Screencastify is a handy piece of software capable of recording entire screen or specific sections in no time.
- It saves recordings directly on Google drive making it easier to upload on YouTube. Hence, it also saves disk space.
- Countdown announcement before it starts capturing the screen.
- Supports use of a microphone.
- Comes with edit and annotation tools
Weaknesses of Screencastify:
- Saving videos on Google drive are sometimes time-consuming when an internet connection is slow or unstable.
- Free “Lite” version of Screencastify only allows to record up to 10 minutes per video and makes up to 50 recordings each month, which is not enough if we are using it a lot. (I have already used 28/50 – trial and error)
- Drawing and annotation tools are available only in ‘Tab’ recording and not for ‘desktop’ recording.
Potential to use Screencastify as a teacher:
- Integration of Screencastify with other core Google Products, like Google Drive, Chrome, and YouTube, makes it a great tool to use in the classroom for video tutorials and presentations. It is a simple and handy alternative for educators and students.
- As there is not enough storage capacity on Chromebooks, it would be a great tool to use in schools promoting Chromebooks.
- Students can use it to create, record and annotate projects (ex. Google Slides, Google Drawings, etc.) that they have created on their Chromebooks.
- When teaching online, it provides the option of recording and sharing screen remotely.
- Recordings through screencastify help teacher to promote differentiating instructions in the classrooms.
Before I go, I would like to share one of my videos that I recorded using Screencastify for my learning project. I am not a pro in recording yet, it may be evident by this video, but I am sure it will get better with time and practice.