Screencasting from the Other Side

I record my screen a lot. Essentially, there are two reasons for doing so:

  • Demonstration – screen capture is particuarly good for showing processes e.g. how to use greenscreen in Premiere, or how to cite sources in Citemaker. I use a program called Camtasia which allows me to quickly and easily add effects that help focus the viewers’ attention on what they need to know.
  • Legacy – it’s not uncommon for a student to be absent from a lesson I don’t want them to miss. Whether it be sickness, music lessons or technical issues, there are times when a student will miss important lessons online – we are in lockdown as I type this (and that shouldn’t come as a surprise as I live in Melbourne, Australia). It is easier to record a lesson using the communication software – in this case, WebEx – than it is to repeat the lesson.

In the spirit of Project Zero, I believe it is important for students to demonstrate their understanding. That’s what most assessments are concerned with – what does the student understand? We generally use a final product – a video, essay, artwork, performance – to gain insights to that understanding, and that model is generally effective. However, next week, my Art students are submitting digital artworks composited in Photoshop. Many of them are Photoshop novices and whilst they’ve been largely responsive, it would be fair to say that their execution does not always reflect their intent. I want to be privy to what they were endeavouring to do, and not just what they achieved.

To gain insight into their thinking I have asked the boys to use a screen capture tool so they can talk me through what they were intending, as well as providing some insight into their use of various tools in the software. After some digging, I recommend Vimeo Record for this task. Not only is it free, it is browser-based and hosts the videos produced. We did a test run last lesson. One of my students was willing to share what he did in that trial run.

BTW: I host my Clause and Effect videos on Vimeo Plus instead of YouTube as I don’t want viewers to be slammed with pre-roll advertising. Most staff in schools should find they can store their videos on Clickview.

Further Reading

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