Screencasting for Pedagogy

Screencasting is ideal for creating repeatable, pausible mini-lessons that cover technical procedures or introduce features of software or web tools.  This frees up classtime for more important things.

 (Parentheses indicate the tool used to create the tutorial.)  

Tool Demos

Two Geography Tools (Snagit for Chrome)

Footnotes in Word (Camtasia)

Teaching Basic Video (Narrated Slideshow) Production

In various courses, students can learn some basic digital creation and analysis skills for video media, by creating simple video documentary films.  In addition to content considerations, students must learn the procedures for using software and online hosting sites.  Rather than (repeatedly) spend time in class teaching these workflows, a professor can instead point students to short tutorial screencasts covering a few major applications that are ideal for the assignment.

Basic Video Documentary: via PowerPoint (Camtasia)

Hosting and Sharing Videos via Google Drive (Screencast-O-Matic)

Clipping Video in YouTube (Camtasia)

Using the YouTube Editor (Camtasia)

Instead of making tutorials, you can find videos that other people have made.  The above videos make no reference to a specific course, and may be used by instructors in multiple classes.  Many, such as this video for iMovie, are quite good,  but might not be ideal for your assignment Existing tutorials on the web (video or otherwise) may have more or less than your students need for your class.  As with any assignment, you'll need to consider whether existing resources are appropriate, or something more specific must be made.

If you regularly assign video assignments, anticipate discovering new tools students might use, and recording new tutorials for your class.  In the past, for Windows users I recorded video how-tos for Windows Video Editor, but have since concluded that it's clunky and troublesome, compared to simply using PowerPoint.

Sample Assignment

This sample assessment builds on a traditional term paper assignment, having students bring traditional scholarship into video creation.  It was created for an undergraduate history course geared primarily toward freshmen and non-history majors.  Other assignments may be quite different, but should probably have some basic commonalities, such as a script, stipulations on image content, length, and so on.  Above all, students should consider the assignment a serious composition (and not something to be recorded last minute and left unedited.)  

Here's a great discussion of creating a documentary video assignment (aimed at K-12 students, but certainly adaptable to higher ed.)

Cheap and Free Options for Screencasts and Video Slideshows

Ideal for everyday screencast and webcam recording. Free version allows 15 minute videos with a minor watermark. Videos recorded can be sent directly to Screencast-O-Matic's hosting site or YouTube, and allows video file creation for hosting in Google Drive. Videos can record and include screencasts, webcams, or both. Paid version includes editing and scripting tools.

High-end video creation and editing suite, that contains an excellent toolset for screencast or webcam recording. Camtasia is very expensive, but offers discount for educators, and a 1-month free trial. If you anticipate doing lots of video work, it is worth purchasing. For example, Camtasia has a full-featured, simple to use pan-and-zoom tool not widely available in screencast or editing applications.

An excellent whiteboarding tool for tablets that records all activity as a screencast. Ideal for discussing maps or images with annotations.

Microsoft PowerPoint, particularly 2013 and 2016, can easily export slideshows with narrations and timings to .MP4 video files.

QuickTime & iMovie for Mac

Mac computers include excellent tools for webcam and screencast recording and editing.

Adobe Spark

A simple, free toolset that allows the creation of meme graphics, simple but dynamic web pages, and slideshow videos. Works on Desktop (PC or Mac) and mobile apps (Tablets.)

Hosting Videos

Common Standard. Includes simple editing tools. Included in Google Apps for Education.

Google Drive

Cloud Storage using YouTube player tech. Included in Google Apps for Education.

Alternative to Google products.

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