Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

Hone public speaking skills with screen and webcam recordings

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
9–12
Common Sense says (See details)
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Not yet reviewed

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Pros: Kids can be recording within minutes, and the markup features offer opportunities to make dynamic presentations.

Cons: The lack of editing options means that kids may have to use a workaround or record the same video multiple times to get the results they want.

Bottom Line: Though this screen recorder is fairly basic, options abound for educational, professional, and just-for-fun use.

With a little creativity, teachers may find themselves creating presentations with Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder, or stepping back to guide students as they create their own. Start with some basics about public speaking skills, and give kids time to practice by recording themselves, reflecting on their screen presence, and getting feedback from their peers. Then open up opportunities for creative uses. Turn traditional peer editing on its side by letting kids use the markup tools to give video feedback to their classmates. Have students who struggle with speaking or reading fluency record themselves for practice before presenting before a live audience. Show kids a few famous speeches or TED talks for inspiration and then let them record their own orations -- critique them for things like authenticity, cadence, excitement, and confidence.  

Struggling to keep up with kids who finish their assignments early? Give them a chance to create a video tutorial of an educational game or site to share with the class. Or maximize your classroom interactions: Flip your classroom a little or a lot by recording directions, presentations, or short lessons to be viewed at home. Just be sure to keep kids' attention spans in mind as you design your activities. 

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Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder is an online screen or webcam recording tool. Teachers and students can opt to use the desktop version, but it has a three-minute recording limit -- the online version has no such limit.  At the first use, users are prompted to download the online launcher, which takes a few minutes. Then it's a matter of launching the application and choosing recording preferences from features such as screen size, microphone access, recording prompts, frame rate, and shortcuts.

After setting up, it's as simple as adjusting the screen capture size and pressing the Record icon. There are several markup features, including drawing or adding text, shapes, or arrows, allowing teachers or students to add depth to presentations by underscoring important points. The screen recorder is fairly basic. There are no editing options other than trimming, so students will likely have to rehearse and create several iterations before producing an acceptable copy. Once they press Stop, the video will upload, and students can choose to save it locally (this might take a lot of space, depending on the length) or via platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, or YouTube. 

The parent website has many other tools for purchase, as well as user tips for creating effective screencasts or webcasts, but teachers should be aware that the community forums there may contain inappropriate language.

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder can help teachers create lessons in video format that will benefit students, especially if they have the opportunity to watch a video more than once. Kids who are absent from school can also avoid getting too far behind if lessons are available via learning management systems. 

As a student creation tool, there are skills that students will naturally pick up; perseverance, self-reflection, communication, public speaking, and meta-cognition skills are likely to develop as a result of the number of takes students will have to go through to produce a solid recording. Other skills, such as exposition, audience awareness, articulation, flow, and storytelling, will require more explicit teacher guidance. Kids may also benefit from the improved public speaking skills that come from recognizing their reliance on speech tags, lags in their speech, and other nervous habits. Hearing and seeing themselves on camera can provide insight and encourage them to work on skills they might not even know need improvement, resulting in increased confidence.

Teachers will definitely want to have one or more conversations with students about their digital footprint, especially if students are using the webcam feature or sharing their presentations on social media platforms. Kids need to know that their content is representative of their person, and they should be cautious about what they're putting on display for others to see. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will appreciate the ease of recording and creating original video content, especially if they opt to get feedback through sharing it with others.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

There are opportunities to learn content and skills on many levels; how well this tool impacts learning will depend upon whether or not kids take advantage of those opportunities.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The tutorials will help students get started, and there's just a slight learning curve; differentiation is an easy fit for students of nearly all skill levels and learning needs.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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