What are screencasts
A screencast is a recording that usually includes a computer display or some other device’s screen. Although a screencast is normally a display, it can also include live video such as from a webcam or document camera.
For teachers, a screencast can be as simple as recording a presentation to introduce or reinforce content from the classroom. As you are starting out, don’t worry about production values. As you practice and get better with screencasts your production quality will naturally increase.
Why do you want to create screencasts?
Screencasts are a great way to deliver content to students. If you’ve gone on to Youtube to learn how to do something (and a majority of your students probably have) then you already know the value of video when it comes to learning something new.
By creating your own screencasts, you can record the content that is directly associated with what is going on in your classroom. And, here’s the kicker, you can do whatever you want with that content since you created it. This allows you to put it up for download so those students that don’t have internet access at home can access the videos.
Some districts still block Youtube. If you are creating your own content, then this will no longer affect you.
But I don’t have the time
I prefer to create my recordings during the lesson. At the Ohio eTech Conference a few years ago I attended a session by Brian Pool from National Trail on screencasting his lessons. He records every lesson, which is a brilliant idea. For his students, it allows them to see how the content was presented in other classes. For Brian, it gives him a larger pool (pun intended) of content to pull from when he wants to reuse videos or reinforce content.
If you are apprehensive about recording your lesson live, you can also record after hours. This is helpful as you practice your craft and delivery.
I posted a list of tools I use to screencast from various devices. Check them out and let me know if I missed your favorite tool.