Loom

Create, present, and assess with effortless interactive screencasts

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 9 reviews

Privacy rating

Not yet rated
Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

Pre-K–12

Subjects & Skills

Communication & Collaboration

Great for

Assessment, Classroom Management, Instructional Strategies, Presentation

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

Pros: The simple interface will appeal to time-strapped teachers. Flexible sharing features.

Cons: Limited editing options, so teachers might have to do multiple takes.

Bottom Line: This intuitive tool is excellent for recording and responding to screencasts of any length.

The use of videos and screencasts in classroom instruction has become a lifeline for many teachers and students. User-friendly Loom lets you record your screen -- anything on your screen -- and share it quickly and easily with your students via a link or embed code. Record directions once for students learning from home or in the classroom, allowing them to rewatch multiple times if needed. Create short how-to videos, model exemplars of anything from poetry annotation to lab safety procedures, or send quick reminders home, adding calls to action to your videos as needed to direct viewers to additional resources or tasks. 

For more in-depth lessons, use Loom with an extension like Kami to highlight and explain important points in documents or to give students formative feedback. Teachers can strike a balance between giving the fish and teaching to fish by providing students or colleagues with videos about assignments, LMS features, new tech tools, or changes in classroom procedures. Plus, the team feature makes it easy for colleagues to share the work of video creation. The personal touch of seeing a teacher's face not only serves to form better connections with students, colleagues, and families, but also saves loads of time and frustration. 

Loom is a screen recording tool that lets users record audio, video, browser windows, or entire screens in a Chrome extension, desktop app, or mobile app. In terms of the different options, the Chrome extension can't show your camera bubble if you leave Chrome, the desktop app won't work on a Chromebook, and the mobile app won't allow simultaneous screen and camera recording. If teachers sign up for a free Loom for Education account and get verified, only one creator is allowed, so teachers do all of the recording. Students don't need an account. The other free account option allows for 50 creators, but with limits on the number of videos and their length. Plus, there are no classroom features, and students would need a Loom account.

The onboarding process is thorough and includes tutorials, feature walkthroughs, and examples. Once it's installed, users can click on the Loom icon and choose from the recording options: just their face, one tab, or the whole screen (with or without audio). A short countdown precedes recording, and users have unlimited time to record as many screencasts as they want. Once you stop the recording, a link will automatically save to your clipboard, allowing for seamless public or private sharing via email, social media, or embed code. The videos will also save to your personal library, giving you the option to edit, pin, and organize them into folders and subfolders. Teachers can also share them to a team library to make them easily accessible to colleagues. Editing features are limited to trimming, changing playback speed, adding a thumbnail, or including calls to action that include attached resources. Teachers can allow students to comment and download videos or not. Some teachers might wish for more, but for others, the simplicity and ease of use will be enough to satisfy basic classroom recording needs.

Opportunities to communicate, demonstrate, and model are nearly limitless, and teachers can take advantage of the ease of Loom to create and distribute videos quickly without the painstaking and time-consuming task of uploading them to Google Drive or YouTube. Being able to just share a link or embed the video without worrying about file organization and storage is great, and sharing videos with other teachers is super easy too. That ease enables teachers to create screencasts to use every year, like a FAQ come to life. Plus, not having to worry about student accounts is a huge advantage. The option to allow comments and attach additional resources makes this tool even more effective for classroom use. 

Making it possible for students to create and share with the classroom version would add even more value, and more accessibility and integration options would also make it more seamless for teachers. As it stands, though, it's a simple and useful tool that can make more traditional presentations friendlier without a lot of hassle.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Teachers can create snappy, interesting, and fun screencasts to spice up a lesson.

Pedagogy

The flexible options allow for teachers to approach and create content in different ways, and they can also use it for targeted lessons that support differentiation.

Support

The onboarding process is top-notch, and the tool is intuitive. Additional accessibility features, such as closed captioning or text-to-speech options, would be helpful.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne R.
Marianne R. Instructional Technology Facilitator

Community Rating

Great for ready to make, simple videos

I have not used Loom for very long but so far this is the best tool I have found to make a video quickly and easily.

I used Camtasia for a long time but I did not make very many videos because it was difficult to use. And to make it worse, Camtasia would encourage me to make spend more time adding music, titles, it other professional quality items. Camtasia produced wonderful videos but there was a huge cost in time.

I started using VidGrid (paid product) a few years ago. It was drop dead simple and made very nice "primative" videos quickly. My productivity improved greatly with VidGrid while the quality dropped slightly in ways that did not matter to my students.

My school recently moved away from VidGrid and went to YuJa. YuJa has many features I do not need or want, was difficult to use, and crashed over half the time. It is not worth the frustration and my students were not happy about the loss of quick response.

I recently found Loom and it is a great fit for my purposes. The videos are even easier to make than with VidGrid, though admittedly it could not get much easier. Best of all for my use case, when a student or students is struggling on something simple like using a VLOOKUP formula I can quickly make a video addressing the concept they are struggling with and post it to the class discussion board. My students are happy to got what they need, when they need it, in a format suitable for the purpose.

The lack of features is a feature for those of use who are obsessive compulsive. I use to struggle releasing a video because it was never good enough. Knowing I can't edit a lot and that students value speed is very liberating.

The quality is almost as good at a minimum and frequently just as good for the video and the audio. (Neither is as good as Camtasia)

Pros
Good audio and video quality
Incredibly simple.
Can record from the browser (720P I believe. Desktop is higher resolution.)
Can play video at an accelerated speed

Cons
Surprisingly, it does not allow the video to be played at a slower speed. You could download the video and post to YouTube or play on a media player that supports that but that slows down your response time. This is not something that is normally needed but occasionally it is nice to have.
The transcript is ok but not as accurate as other products I have used. But it is not bad. I am thrilled that it included free transcription and the quality is not bad so that is not a major deal for me.

Conclusion
Loom is probably not a good fit for your needs if you are making high quality lengthy videos that are designed to be used for multiple semesters. The increase in fidelity you could get from other products and the additional time are an investment in the future.

If you need something that is free and incredibly simple to use to produce very good quality videos quickly, Loom is excellent. Loom also allows for a more interactive experience since responses can be made so quickly.

The negative reviews I have read about Loom are accurate from the viewpoint of focusing on best quality video. But for good quality video done really quickly Loom is the best I have found.

Continue reading

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings