Screencasting in the Classroom


Presenter: Kevin Hurysz
Target Audience: Everyone

Location: US Math & Science F271
Times (session is repeated): Session A 9:20-10:10 / Session B 10:20-11:10
(Audience limit: 20)

Screencasts are digital recordings of the computer video screen, described by Peterson (2007) as “recordings of a video of screen activities, including mouse movements and clicks.” Screencasts rely on visual and audio cues and can also contain interactive features. They are quick to prepare and easy to update and change.

In their simplest sense, screencasts just require a computer and appropriate software but can also incorporate a SMARTBoard, presentation software, tablet, camera, or microphone. The recordings are then ‘produced’ or ‘rendered’ in video format and electronically delivered to the student.

This workshop will share examples of screencasting across the curriculum and review how WA teachers and students can create simple screencasts using two freely available tools -- the Smart Screen Recorder and Jing. The technology can be applied to any discipline or learning environment.

SWOT Analysis (these are edited and modified from the Teach 2.0 wiki)
Strengths

  • Very easy to use so even young children can use it
  • Record screencasts and capture screenshots quickly
  • Share screencasts and screenshots easily with anyone who has a high-speed Internet connection
  • Annotate screenshots with text and arrows
  • Free video hosting on Screencast.com if you use less than 2GB of storage space and bandwidth per month
  • Pro version allows users to save recordings in mp4 format and post on YouTube as well as other video hosting services
  • Pro version allows users to produce smaller files for faster downloading

Weaknesses
  • Free version of Jing only saves recordings in shockwave-flash (swf) format, so it is not able to be mixed with other video clips very easily
  • It is important to know that you can effectively screencast without paying anything!
  • Need to pay $15 per year license fee for "Pro" version
  • Need to pay $100 per year subscription fee at Screencast.com if you use more than 2GB of bandwidth per month (You can use your own network or other storage option).
  • Free version produces somewhat large file sizes, so downloading is slower than popular video sites like YouTube
  • Need powerful computer with lots of RAM (at least 1GB, but 2GB is better)

Opportunities
  • Students can create content instead of just watching teacher created content
  • Computers and Internet connections will continue to improve, making screencasting easier and faster
  • Human nature is likely to stay the same: i.e. People often learn more efficiently when they see how something is done in addition to hearing the verbal explanation of how to do it
  • Many parents/students do not know how to use various school-based software applications, and they don't have time/desire to read manuals or "figure things out," so the demand for screencasting is likely to be high

Threats
  • May not have class sets of computers that are powerful enough to use Jing.



Selected Screencasting Examples

Screencast.org (Techsmith)
Mathcasts

Resources

Jing website
Jing from Teach 2.0 web