Friday, December 12, 2014

The Twelve Tools of December: Screencastify

During the weekdays of December, we're sharing one tool per day as part of our Twelve Tools of December series.  Some of these tools are designed to be used instructionally, some can help you be more productive, and some are just fun.

Today, we're sharing about Screencastify.  

What is it?
Screencastify is an extension in Chrome that allows you to create screen video recordings. With Screencastify, you can create and share video tutorials of your screen or create presentations. As long as you have the Chrome browser, you have the ability to create screencasts using Screencastify. There is no cost to use Screencastify Lite, and you are able to record up to 10 minutes of video.

Why would I use it?  What does it do?
Screencasts are video recordings of your computer screen that have an audio recording in them. They can be very useful for showing someone how to do something on the computer, as in a tutorial or presentation. The viewer can see what to do and where to click on the screen, and hear audio of what’s being said while you click around. It’s a great way for teachers to show parents, students or colleagues how to do something online. It can also be a great way for students to describe and share their thinking while they’re working online. You even have the option to embed a video of yourself in the bottom of the video that you record. 

Screencastify doesn’t collect personal information, and at this time doesn’t have anything specific in their Privacy Policy that addresses under 13.

Are there similar tools?
Snagit is another tool that you can use for screencasting. It is a Chrome web app and an extension in Chrome. It allows you to take screenshots (images) of your screen, or screencasts (video). If you purchase the paid version of Snagit, you can use it on Mac and PC platforms in addition to the Chrome browser. Check out tutorials for Snagit and their privacy policies for students under 13. 

Kathy Schrock also has a great site dedicated to Screencasting in the Classroom. You can check out screencasting tools for different devices, as well as classroom samples.

Where can I learn more?
Here's one screencast tutorial found from a site that compares Screencastify and Snagit.

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