Screencasting 101 For Teachers


Did you ever think you’d be sharing your screen giving tutorials so much? Or at all? I’m pretty techy, but I didn’t even know that I COULD share my screen and take a recording of it until a couple months ago. I suppose I’ve watched enough webinars that I knew that’s how they did it, but screencasting was so far off my radar that I never paid attention. So Mrs. Hull took a crash course on two different screencasting apps. Here, in the series of The Best Classroom Apps for your classroom, I’m going to walk you through Loom and Screencastify.

Both are very similar, but there are a few distinct differences.

Screencasting 101: The Loom app


Loom is a screencasting app that you can use through a browser window, download the Chrome extension, or download the app to your desktop. I like how you have three choices to access it. I use the Chrome extension mainly so I can click it and start recording the screen I’m on. 

You have the option to record one window, your whole desktop, or use just the camera to record yourself. A small circle window opens up at the bottom with a video of you, which you can turn off if you choose. I learned to get over my messy-bun look and keep the camera turned on. Your students want to see YOU!

When you’re finished with your video, you can copy the link and send it wherever you would like. The settings can be turned on or off, and you have a lot of choices here, commenting, adding emojis, and more. You can also clip your video to make it shorter. Let’s say you make a mistake at the beginning, or if you’re like me, spend too much time at the end looking for the button to stop your video. You can trim the end of your video and cut that part off. 

Loom is free, but there is a pro account for those who use screencasting for business reasons. For our needs, the free account works just fine!

Screencasting 101: The Screencastify App


Screencastify works only with a Chrome extension, and it works well, butasz you will need Chrome to use the app. The Screencastify app works very similarly to the Loom app, in that you can choose your whole desktop, just a window, or just yourself to record. The video of you at the bottom is a square, and not a circle. I don’t know why it matters, but I like Loom’s circle a little better.

Like Loom, I use the extension to begin recording. You click it at the top of the window you want to record, rather than bouncing back and forth between windows. 

You can download it to your drive, share it to Google classroom, but it’s completely web based. Which means that you won’t have a file to download onto your computer. Most of the time you won’t need to, but just in case you wanted to, you can’t. I found that I didn’t mind. I really found Google Classroom helpful. You can read why here.

Screencastify is free as well, but if you want to use the editor to make major changes to your videos, you’ll need the pro version. The only thing I might use it for is to merge two videos together. But other than that, the free Screencastify version is all you need.

Screencasting 101: How Else Can I Use It?


I’ve mainly used screencasting for tutorial videos on how to log onto a program, or how to use it’s components. Here are some other uses for Screencasting in your classroom:

My friend Kate, wrote a helpful article on how to use screencasting to make videos for your students. Check it out here! And, there you have it. Honestly, I found that it was harder to gain the courage to use screencasting, than it was to figure out how to use the screencasting apps! Remember, the only person judging you, is YOU. Which app do you think you’re going to try? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went!

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Rachael Hull

Rachael Hull

Teaching literacy and facilitating literacy stations has been a passion of Rachael's and she wants to help you gain confidence in your classroom!


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