Screen Capture Success Story

Pondering how to do a screen cast.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of using video screen capture to help reinforce ideas and concepts in class for close to a year.  My journey all started with the question “If I can take a picture of my screen and share it with others, then why can’t I take a video of what I’m doing on the screen with audio?”

My initial search led me to the program Jing.  At first I was in love with it.  It was incredibly easy to use and to set up my account.  However, once I finished recording the troubles began.  Jing records in SWF format (unless you pay a subscription fee), which is a file format that most movie editors do not seem to recognize.  I created a couple of videos but found the process of trying to convert, edit, and then share the videos to be so frustrating that I finally gave up.

When I got my iPad in August, I immediately went and downloaded a couple of free apps that do a Khan Academy style recording (ScreenChomp and ShowMe) which were suggested on Langwitches Blog post  Bloom’s Taxonomy and iPad Apps.  I had planned to use this in class but I hadn’t used it yet.  Then this week my students did two things:

  1. They forgot how to divide using decimals.
  2. When I took them into the computer lab and showed them how to upload documents and pictures into their blog, they looked a bit confused.

When I woke up on Friday, I was determined to find an answer to my screen-casting problem.  However, I did not want to fork out any money of my own to do so.  At first I went back to Jing but try as I might I could not find a converter that would allow me to change SWF to other file types successfully.

Finally, I asked my brother for his advice.  He suggested I check the App Store.  I did with no luck and e-mailed him again asking for help.  He responded with several YouTube video links that explained how I could do it for free in several different ways.  Finally, on the last one demonstrated how to do it using QuickTime X.  I was elated that the answer could be so simple.  I recorded it, swapped it into iMovie, and uploaded it onto my YouTube account.  After my success with that I tried recording a ScreenChomp recording.  Once that was done I put it onto YouTube.

I am so happy about this that I can barely contain my joy.  I can see the potential benefit to my students being able to access videos that help reinforce their learning.  All of my videos will be available under Creative Commons Licensing, so feel free to use the videos if you like them.  Hopefully, I’ll also be able to get my students into screen casting as well using the various tools.

I will be creating some Screen Casting Videos and will post them later.

Here are my first two videos:


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1 Comment

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One response to “Screen Capture Success Story

  1. Fantastic! I use screen casting all the time – especially when there are a complicated number of steps that students need to complete (so common with technology). This way students can watch again and again and pause as needed. So glad you were able to get this up and running for your students!

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