How I Use It
I use Screencastify to record a variety of videos for my middle school students. I record lessons to introduce or review skills (for example, source evaluation or note taking), and when we began distance learning this spring, I created videos to introduce new content or just record something silly to show my students I was thinking of them. I found the skills lessons worked best if students were able to choose the ones they needed to learn or review, and I paired the videos with short Google form quizzes to check their understanding. Shorter videos are definitely better—5 minutes is the sweet spot.
I really like Screencastify and screencasts in general because, when used right, they allow students to personalize learning. Students can watch videos multiple times if they need to review, and they can pause videos when they need to take a minute. I like screencasts best when students can watch them and then ask me questions—sometimes I find that students will passively watch videos and not clarify something they don't understand. I don't like that Screencastify has limited their free videos to 5 minutes—they used to give 10 minutes for recordings. It's also tough when you mess up a recording and need to start over entirely—I wish you could erase a small portion of the recording. Overall, I recommend Screencastify to teachers looking to support their students' learning through short video lessons and other video content.