How I Use It
I have used Screencastify in a number of different ways. The most obvious use is to capture whatever you are showing on your screen. My students have used Screencastify to narrate Google Slides presentations and explain their thinking. I have also used it to flip lessons by delivering instruction via a screencast that students watch as many times as needed to learn a new concept. I share these flipped movies through an upload to Google Classroom. Using the extension on Chromebooks, my students were able to record a puppet play. They created a backdrop and adjusted the computer camera to focus on paper puppets they made and manipulated in front of the backdrop while they recorded the audio narration of their story. This year, I am going to experiment with creating directions for subs to play when I am out for the day so that students hear my voice explaining assignments using the same terminology that they are familiar with. The Screencastify extension was easy for my 3rd and 4th grade students to use and understand. I find the annotating tools to be distracting.
I use the free version and find that it works quite well for my needs. In head-to-head comparisons of several screencasting web tools and extensions, my team agreed that Screencastify worked the best. The resolution of the final product is good and the ability to save directly to Google Drive is a valuable feature that I really appreciate! Many students will record over and over until their voice-over sounds just right. By choosing the option to save to Google Drive,all projects are automatically saved to Drive as a webm file so they are easy to find and share. Screencastify allows users to record just the open tab or to navigate to other tabs in the window. The free version has limited annotation tools and allows for videos up to 10 minutes long.