Summary: Learn the basics of screencasting for teachers. This is a common idea in the flipped classroom model.
If you are considering attempting to flip your classroom so you can be more interactive in class and have students get some short and sweet direct instruction at home for homework, at some point you may want to be the one doing the talking for that direct instruction. Some educators use TED talks, MIT OpenCourseWare, Khan Academy, YouTube content, or other teachers’ videos.
If you want to make your own lectures for a flipped classroom, you’re going to need to record content and get it online. Then of course you have to get students to consume your content. This post is all about HOW to make your own content for such a purpose. I’m going to use the term screencasting which has come to mean recording yourself using your computer. You can have your voice over the interactions with applications on your computer and you can also have a video superimposed on the computer.
Software for screencasting ranges from expensive to free and quality varies a lot as well. If you have been in education for a while the name Kathy Schrock is likely familiar to you. She is one of the most prolific educational technology folks around. She has an entire section of her “Schrock Guide” dedicated to screencasting info including links to software downloads and HOWTO articles and videos. You can find info about software, web sites, mobile apps, and pedagogy stuff as well. It’s great.
I bought ScreenFlow a while ago for around $100 which is a lot to spend really. I justified the expense since I do a bit of distance education. The software lets me post to YouTube and Vimeo and add a lot of cool things to the videos. Here is a screencast about one of my recent lessons where screencasting was important. ScreenFlow has been a great tool for me. There are free and cheaper apps out there that do awesome stuff too so don’t think you need something expensive to screencast.
If you are a SMART Board user, then you are in luck. There is an app that’s part of SMART Tools called recorder which can record your actions on the SMART Board and can even record your voice. You can use the SMART Recorder without being connected to a SMART Board nor do you have to even use SMART Notebook. Here is a HOWTO video on using the recorder application. It works on a Mac as well. I tested it out. 🙂