Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2018


Create, present, and assess with free, effortless screencasting

Subjects & skills

  • Communication & Collaboration
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.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Simple to learn, tons of support, and many exporting features, including Slack integration.

Cons: Only works on devices that support Chrome extensions; once recorded, editing options are limited to trimming.

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

One of the most frustrating questions teachers hear after explaining directions at length is, “What are we supposed to do?” Enter Loom, a user-friendly screencasting tool that lets you record your screen -- anything on your screen -- and share it quickly and easily with your students. Record directions once for students so that they can watch again if they have questions. Aside from obvious flipped classroom uses, teachers can take advantage of a multitude of other possibilities: Create short how-to videos, model exemplars of anything from poetry annotation to lab safety procedures, or send quick reminders home, adding links to your videos to direct viewers to additional resources. 

Use Loom with an extension like Kami to highlight and explain important points in documents or give formative feedback about students’ writing. Pair with a site that has drawing features, and have students record themselves working out math problems. Encourage the development of critical-thinking skills by having students screencast a review of a book, video, or website. 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 suggested policy changes. The personal touch of seeing a teacher’s face not only serves to form better connections with students, colleagues, and families, it can also save loads of time and frustration. 

There are some potential pitfalls. The ability to interact by posting comments or emojis may be a distraction, especially for students who struggle to pay attention to content. The ease with which users can share videos (via email, Slack, social media, or embed code) is convenient, but it may lead to sloppy or even inappropriate content. While there are some safety features in place, such as password protection and privacy settings, teachers should review digital citizen concepts with their students regularly to prevent negative outcomes. 

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Loom is a screencasting tool that lets users record audio, video, browser windows, or entire screens in Google Chrome. The orientation process is thorough and includes tutorials, feature walk-throughs, 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 sharing. The video will save to your account, giving you the option to pin videos, organize them into folders and subfolders, and even add links in the notes section. The trim feature (in beta) allows users to cut out parts that they don’t want or revert back to the original.

For learners who prefer a visual medium, the opportunity to watch a video -- sometimes more than once -- can be extremely helpful, especially if it's possible to interact with the video by writing comments or questions and seeing what others are writing in real time. 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. Instead of spending all of your time re-explaining tasks, take a one-and-done approach, and maximize face-to-face interaction with students. Students who don’t understand directions can either watch again, ask questions in the comment thread, or record a video in response that specifically addresses areas of confusion, encouraging ownership on their part and allowing teachers to focus on more specific instruction. The option to add notes or links to additional content makes this tool even more effective for classroom use.  

As a creation tool, students can demonstrate learning, practice expository speech, give feedback to their peers, or critique content on any site. Set a time or word limit -- both for you and your students -- in order to maximize audience engagement and prevent videos from becoming too long. You’ll also want to use and teach skills like hook statements and supporting details, in addition to technical skills, so that students can create well-rounded, articulate, and informative screencasts.

Overall Rating

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

Students and teachers will love the opportunity to create and interact with interesting screencasts and video recordings, creating the potential for authentic, passion-driven learning.

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

Given the opportunity, teachers and students can learn from one another. The ability to use video to free up more time for one-on-one or small-group instruction benefits everyone.

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 onboarding process is top-notch, and the tool is intuitive. Some additional accessibility features would be helpful.

Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Heather C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Copperas Cove High School
Copperas Cove, United States
A quick and easy resource for reviewing assignments and recapping lessons.
As a teaching tool I think it was effective but I think there are a lot of tools that can do what this tool does and a lot more. I really like that the video caption was round and the set up was so simple. I don't think I would use this resource in the future as it was a bit confusing to navigate and it did not have detailed tutorials. The set up was simple but the tutorials were very bare.
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