Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

August 26, 2011

5 Ways Teachers Can Use Screencasts to Engage Student Learning

I love creating screencasts. After I did it once, I realized how easy it can be. A screencast is a video recording of someone's computer screen with an audio recording of someone's voice. With free programs/apps like Screenr, Screecast-o-matic, and Screncastle, teachers can make very creative recordings for their students.

How can teachers integrate screencasts into their instruction?

5 Ways Teachers Can Use Screencasts

1. Explain Homework Assignments by Video

Have you ever had a student completely misunderstand a homework assignment or come into class with their homework incomplete because they "didn't get it." I have. It drove me crazy.

Pull up the assignment on your computer screen. Hook up a microphone if your computer doesn't have one. Record a clear explanation of the homework assignment and show students how to complete it on the screen. Post it to YouTube (its free) or Vimeo (free too) and if you have a webpage, wiki, or Moodle page, post it there.

Parents will definitely appreciate an in-depth explanation of the homework assignment.

2. Supplement Your Lectures Online

Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time to teach everything? Create short videos to explain concepts you weren't able to cover in class and require students to watch them. Engage them in a discussion about it in class and clarify things that were a bit unclear. This saves time in class for critical thinking and creative discussion.

3. Answer Frequently Asked Questions with a Screencast

Do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again, year after year? Take your best answers to these questions, create a simple screencast to share the answer. When the question comes up in class, point them to the video, show it in class, or expand on the recording in person.

4. Digital Story-Telling

The most powerful way to express an idea is to use stories, not just facts. Create or summarize a story using images and an audio reading. If you are a mac person, you could also use iMovie and give your stories a little Ken Burns effect.

5. Student-Created Screencasts

If the students have the technology at home or if you can get them access to it at school, have them create screencasts as assessments, class prayers, and questions about assignments.

A Simple Way to Make a Screencast

In the screencast below, I simiply summarize the five tips written above using PowerPoint and Screenr. I am recording just one slide with five images. It took me 20 minutes to create and 10 minutes to record and upload to YouTube.



The Master Screencaster: Salman Khan

Just for fun, let's take a look at the master screencaster, Salman Khan from Khan Academy. He is being called a revolutionary for his educational videos.

You can be revolutionary too. Create some screencasts.

Comments

1 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

Aug. 26, 2011
What a wonderful suggestion! Thank you Jared!

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