Unit 1 - Screencasting - Bridging the visual communication gap


Unit 1 - Screencasting - Bridging the visual communication gap


  • You will be able to define what screencasting is.
  • You will be able to identify possible reasons to utilize video in the classroom.
  • You will be able to identify common barriers to the usage of video in the classroom.

Lesson 1 - What is screencasting?


Definition of
screencast [1]
Screen recording software that turns screen output into a video to teach an application or to promote a product by demonstrating :features. Users can also make videos of screen sequences to log results for troubleshooting. Screencast programs may allow narration :during capture, and advanced versions allow editing and annotation after the capture.
ScreenCam was one of the first of this type, followed by several others, including Camtasia from TechSmith (www.techsmith.com) and Captivate from Adobe (www.adobe.com). Services also exist that let users make screencasts and share them online (see screencast.com).

The term screencasting was first defined on a blog of all places! InfoWorld writer John Udell was looking for a term to define "making movies of software". [2] Two of his readers, Deeje Cooley and Joseph McDonald suggested the term "screencast", which Udell eventually picked. [3]

Lesson 2 - Why use video in the classroom? What are the benefits?

Video can be used for many reasons in the classroom. Here are some examples:

  • In foreign language, English and science (scientific names - Latin and Greek) classes for pronunciation [4]
  • In math classes to illustrate problems step by step
  • In computer and technology classes to train specific types of software which often have many steps which are hard to convey using simply text

These two articles will help familiarize you with the benefits of screencasting in your classrooms:

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Document-icon.png Time and Teach Better with Screencasting

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Document-icon.png Read: 7 things you should know about... Screencasting (EDUCAUSE)

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Document-icon.png Read: Show Me! On Demand: Budget Friendly Instructional Videos

Video can also be used in other ways to keep in contact with your class. On great example is video blogging.


Definition of
video blogging (also known as a vlog) [5]
(Video bLOG) A Weblog (blog) that includes video clips to be downloaded and viewed immediately or transferred to a portable player. Also called a "vog," "vid-: blog" and "movie blog," the vlog can be exclusively videos with text used only for captions, or text entries may be included

Video blogging can be used on a daily, weekly, whenever basis to communicate with your students. Screencasting with the software in this mini-course is one way to create quick and easy video blogs.

Whiteboarding is another way to utilize screencasting software in the classroom. Whiteboarding involves using software and drawing on the screen as you make a video. A great example of this in practice are the videos at Khan Academy [6]. Creator Salman Khan utilizes SmoothDraw 3 as the whiteboard, a Wacom Bamboo pen and tablet as an input device and Camtasia Recorder. He used to use ScreenVideoRecorder to capture images and Microsoft Paint to draw on the screen. [7] You can use Jing, Screenr or Screencast-O-Matic as the screen capture software and SmoothDraw or Microsoft Paint as the whiteboard to draw on for a completely free solution. Using a mouse is possible, but an input device of a pen is preferable.

Here is a great example of Salman Khan of Khan Academy using a whiteboard in an instructional video:

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Videos-icon.png Watch: Simple Equations

Lesson 3 - What are the common barriers from using video in instruction?

Educators are often hesitant to incorporate video in their instruction. This article discusses many of the reasons behind this:

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Document-icon.png Read: More Professors Could Share Lectures Online. But Should They?

Button-Next-icon.png Activity Document-Write-icon.png Reflect: As we move to the next unit write a brief journal on your own thoughts about the usage of video in your classroom and your own reservations or expectations of it.


Ascher, D. (2004, November 15) Jon Udell's Demos. Retrieved March 2011 from David Ascher Blog http://blog.ascher.ca/2004/11/15/jon-udells-demos/

Goodwin, J. (2008, May 15). Using Video Clips to Teach Pronunciation [Audio Podcast]. Teaching World Languages in the Digital Age Symposium: Janet Goodwin Podcast. UCLA Center for World Languages. Retrieved April 2011 from http://www.international.ucla.edu/languages/podcasts/article.asp?parentid=92322

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. (2006, March) 7 things you should know about... Screencasting [Portable Document Format]. Retrieved April 2011 from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7012.pdf

McClelland, M. (2009). Show Me! On Demand: Budget Friendly Instructional Videos. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Volume 32(4). Retrieved from April 1, 2011 from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/ShowMeOnDemandBudgetFriendlyIn/192964

Orlando, J. (2010, August 18). Save Time and Teach Better with Screencasting. Faculty Focus. Retrieved April 2011 from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/save-time-and-teach-better-with-screencasting

Screencast (n.d) In PC Magazine Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 2011 from http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=screencast&i=60127,00.asp

Springer, C. (2008, February). Just Three Minutes: A Learning Innovation for Struggling Students. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://education.gsu.edu/ctl/FLC/Innov-Instr-Springer08.pdf

Springer, C. (n.d.). Digital Supplemental Instruction (SI) "Just Three Minutes": A Learning Innovation for Struggling Students. Retrieved April 26, 2011 from http://www2.gsu.edu/~acccws/digitaltutor.htm

Udell, J. (2004, November 17). Name that genre: screencast. Retrieved April 2011 from http://jonudell.net/udell/2004-11-17-name-that-genre-screencast.html

Udell, J. (2004, November 15). Name that genre. Retrieved April 2011 from http://jonudell.net/udell/2004-11-15-name-that-genre.html

Young, J.R. (2010, March 12). More Professors Could Share Lecture Online But Should They?. Chronicle of Higher Education, 56(A14). Retrieved April 2011 from http://chronicle.com/article/College-20-More-Professors/64521/


Cabinet-icon48.pngInstant Screencasting: Quick and Basic Screen Capture for Online and Hybrid Instruction

Folder go.pngUnit 1 - Screencasting - Bridging the visual communication gap
Folder go.pngUnit 2 - Instant Screencasting: Quick videos
Folder go.pngUnit 3 - Improving Your Screencasts
Folder go.pngUnit 4 - Integrating Video in the Classroom