How I Use It
Screencastify is both a teacher tool for instruction as well as a student creation tool. I use this tool several times each week. Basically, this Chrome browser extension allows the user to record everything that is seen on the screen as well as the users' voice and video from a webcam if desired. That means if a teacher needs to explain how to use a particular website, application, or tool, the teacher can record a complete walkthrough. Once you download the extension and select the mic input and camera input, you can begin recording in just two clicks. The videos will be automatically saved to your Google Drive (after you link your drive to Screencastify) and can then be shared to your YouTube channel with just a click.
Students could also be asked to create screen-based tutorials, whether the topic is to explain a computer application, or to explain the steps that have been visually described in a document or presentation. That's right, even though Screencastify is a Chrome extension, you can opt to record your entire desktop! Need to explain how Angry Birds utilizes the principles of Physics? Have students start Screencastify and then open the game. As they play (and the screen is being recorded), students can verbalize their thought process using the appropriate vocabulary.
There is no better tool for quickly creating screencasts. The free version allows recordings up to 10 minutes in length, but the paid version is very affordable, less than $20 a year. It is perfect for the creation of Flipped Learning videos, additional tutorials, or great instructions for your centers. You can even opt to have yourself added as a "talking head" (a picture in picture that shows your webcam as a small insert in the corner of what is shown on the screen). It is so easy to use that I have a general rule, as soon as I have to explain something a second time, I record it! How to create a table in Word? Record it! How to log in to your Google Drive? Record it. It really is that easy and, as a teacher or technology coach, it makes you look like a techno-expert.