Making of the Screencast

by Jill Brown

One of my biggest hurdles to overcome in implementing the “Flipped” classroom is making screencasts. Not that the content is the challenge, but the technology behind the screencast is. Once I found a storage place for my screencasts that enabled all of my students to view them from home, I figured that hurdle was behind me. Not so. My students started complaining about a “humming noise” in the background when they watched the screencasts. They said it was hard to concentrate and hear my voice. Ugh!!!  Back to the drawing board. Instead of throwing in the towel, I started troubleshooting and researching for answers. I tried muting the sound system, using an external microphone, changing the settings of the microphone, and changing the sound settings in the software. The problem could be my external microphone or it could be the line in plug. Whatever it was, I couldn’t get the noise to stop. So, I decided to use my iPad to make the screencast. I downloaded three highly recommended apps:

ScreenChomp (TechSmith)

This app is very easy to use. It’s simplicity is its best feature. Write and/or import images, record, preview and send to theTechSmith website. Grab the link and paste it into your library on Edmodo and your done. However, you are only working on the one slide. It would be nice if the developers would allow for multiple slides. If it could do that, this would be the app of choice for making screencasts on iPads.

 Explain Everything

This app has what ScreenChomp is missing, the multiple slide capability. There are so many things I like about Explain Everything. I love that I can re-record a slide without re-recording the entire screencast, being able to use multiple slides, importing pdf’s, the choice of shapes, and etc.   However, the thing that makes this app less desireable is the ease of exporting the videos to a host site. The export options are Youtube, email,Twitter, and Dropbox. Youtube is useless because it is blocked in my school district. Twitter is of no consequence, since my students don’t have Twitter accounts.  Email and Dropbox are two good options, but that means a couple of extra steps before I can post on Edmodo. Also, if the file is too large it won’t send through email. You can change the resolution, but then video quality is poor. If this app would allow me to export the screencast to a host site and be quick about it, I would definitely continue using this app for my screencasts.

Show Me

This app is very similar to ScreeChomp, but you have to wait for an email notification before retrieving you screencast.  The tools are limited and it doesn’t have the multiple slide capability that is needed.

Finding the right app or software program to make my screencasts is not so easy. For now, I’m going to make the best of ScreenChomp on my iPad and Promethean software on my laptop.  Hopefully, Promethean will be coming out with an app soon.