A Free Screen Recorder That Lives in Your Browser – Screencastify
Screen Recorders in Teaching and Learning
A good screen recorder is an essential tool for any teacher. They’re handy for creating tutorials and videos for blended learning and the flipped classroom. They’re also great for empowering students to demonstrate learning by creating videos. Screencastify is a Chrome browser extension; there is no software to download. This makes it a great choice for Chromebooks, but it’s also an excellent option for any device running a Chrome browser.
Record Your Screen
Just tap the Screencastify icon in your browser to get started. Select what you would like to record: your entire screen, a browser tab, or just your webcam. You can also embed the webcam within a screen recording if you want to appear within your video as you narrate. You can narrate your screencast using your microphone, and you can also choose whether you would like to capture the audio from a website by selecting “Tab Audio.”
Screencastify has some simple — but very useful — tools to bring attention to specific parts of your screen while recording. All tools can be found in a toolbar that appears in the bottom left corner once you start recording. The toolbar will appear in you recording, but you can hide it by pressing Option and T on your keyboard. In fact, you can use keyboard shortcuts to access all tools. Click here to download a free shortcuts cheat sheet.
Use the “focus mouse” spotlight tool to focus students’ attention to a specific portion of the screen. The spotlight tool dims the entire screen you are recording except for a circle that follows your mouse pointer around like a spotlight. A red circle also briefly appears anywhere that you click on the screen.
You can draw and write on your screen using the pen tool which is available in seven colors. Erase your annotations with the eraser tool, or you can erase all annotations by wiping the entire screen clear with one click.
Edit Your Screencast
Paid accounts have access to two post-recording tools for editing screencasts. A trim tool can be used to trim the beginning and end of your recording, and a crop tool can be used to select just a portion of your screen to include in the screencast.
Save and Share Your Screencast
A preview of your recording will automatically pop up in a new browser tab. Screencastify creates a folder in your Google Drive. Your videos will immediately begin saving to your Screencastify folder when you finish recording.
Clicking the download arrow gives you the option to save your video to your device as a .mp4 video file. You can also download it as an animated GIF if it’s not too large of a file.
The share icon allows you to get a link and set the share options from Google Drive (private, public, those who have the link can view, etc.). Hosting your videos on Google Drive is a great option in schools where YouTube is blocked. YouTube users can upload directly to YouTube and even select your video’s privacy settings within Screencastify.
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