Screencasting. Most people tend to think it’s not a terribly valuable resource. Many think they are troublesome to create. Many don’t want their voice all over the internet. After being asked how to do the exact same thing several times, I made a joke, saying I needed to record myself showing how to do it… then it hit me, I really did need to record myself showing how to do it, I needed to screencast it.
Believe it or not, my 11 year old daughter had been experimenting with screencasting. She knew all about it. She regularly watches screencasts of people doing certain tasks in Minecraft. She had mentioned wanting to make screencasts of her own, and I now saw a need to make them, so we plunged into it together.
We tinkered with a few different apps before settling on the Google Chrome extension, Snagit by TechSmith. I must say, it is about as easy to do as you can imagine. We were both off and running, making screencasts. I have started to post screencasts on this blog, mostly for the benefit of my students, but in the public so everyone who may want to use them can have access. They are posted HERE. The list is small, but it will grow over the next several weeks.
Let’s take a look at the tool I use, Snagit. Install it through the settings menu by searching for it. For instructions on how to do that, look HERE.
After getting it installed, you are ready to screencast. To do this, open whatever it is you wish to make a screencast of. For me, it is usually something related to Google Docs, Classroom, etc. You will notice you have a little blue icon with an S at the top right of your Chrome browser.
Click that, and you get a slide out menu at the right of the screen. The top three options, REGION, VISIBLE, and SCROLLING are for making still image screenshots. The one below, labeled SCREEN is for making a video. You can also mute the microphone here by selecting the MICROPHONE icon.
Click SCREEN, then click which window you wish to record. You can also choose to have it record the whole screen.
When you select it, you get a little window at the bottom of your screen that has a button to stop sharing. At this point, it is recording your screen, and your voice (if you so choose) When you are done recording whatever it is you wanted to show people by screencast, click to end it.
You will now get a window that looks like this.
You will note, it says it is syncing the video at the bottom of the screen. When it is finished, it will tell you. At this point, you can name your video by typing it in the top text area.
You now have the option to send this video to YouTube, to see the Google Drive file, or to make an animated GIF. Post the file wherever you wish, I use YouTube, and you are done.
Your target audience now just has to go to your YouTube channel to watch how to perform a task. Pretty simple, very helpful, and a HUGE timesaver.
Give Snagit a try, or another app if you prefer. The point is, if you have knowledge others could benefit from, share it.