This blog is designed as a resource for CURR 501, Media Literacy, Popular Culture and Education at Rhode Island College, summer 2015. The course is driven by the essential question: How is new media and digital culture produced and consumed in ways that help us understand ourselves and each other in the context of the current educational landscape?

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Welcome to the Screencastify tutorial! 

What is Screencastify?
Ever wonder how people videotape what is happening on their computer screen (like with Khan Academy)? Well, Screencastify is one way they might do it. Screencastify is a video capture app that can be added right to your Google Chrome browser. When you use it, it video records whatever is happening on your screen and can also capture audio narration. A major bonus of Screencastify is that it doesn't require any extra software and can be linked right to your Google account (and thus your YouTube account - which will come in handy if you want to edit and make your video public). The videos are all stored on the cloud, so they do not take up space on your computer and they can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. However, if you would like to download a certain video to your computer, that can be done as well. Sharing is super easy as urls are automatically assigned. 

How does Screencastify work?
If you are a visual learner and would like a brief overview, you can watch this video tutorial

Then, for step-by-step instructions, follow along below:

1. Access the internet from your Google Chrome Browser. (You won't be able to get Screenscastify if you try to use Firefox or Internet Explorer.)

2. Click on the "Apps" icon. 

 3.Click on the "Web Store" icon.

4. Search for Screencastify, and click the blue "Add to Chrome" button.

5. Follow the instructions from there, allowing Screencastify to access your camera and desktop. 

6. Play around!

What are some benefits of using Sceencastify in the classroom?
The University of Waterloo made this great list of ideas:
  1. You can use screencasts to deliver course content that you, as the instructor, don't want to cover during class. For example, after giving your students a test, you might not want to spend an hour going over the test questions to explain the correct solutions. Instead, you could create a screencast that explained the solutions, which your students could watch (and re-watch) at their convenience. 
  2. You can use screencast to deliver remedial content. For example, the instructor of a history course might find that many of his or her students don't know how to properly reference sources. Instead of covering this remedial content in class, it is delivered via a screencast that is accessed by those students who need it. 
  3. Screencasts allow students to access the content from any location and whenever they need it. They can watch screencasts multiple times. They can review them prior to final examinations. 
  4. Screencasts can benefit students whose first language is not English (they can watch the screencast multiple times, or you can even include captions with your screencast), and for students with certain learning disabilities. 
  5. Screencasts can allow you to deliver content outside of class, so that class time can be spent on more productive and interactive learning activities. This is called flipping the classroom
How have I used Screencastify?
I had a meeting to attend during one of my classes, but I really needed to teach my students how to set up their body paragraphs of their essays. The substitute was not going to be able to teach that, so I realized that I could make a screencast showing my process. I first recorded the screencast, then uploaded it to my Youtube account. Within my Youtube account, I used the "Creator Studio" to crop my video and add pop-up annotations to add extra tidbits of information. This certainly is not an expert screencast, but it give an idea about some of the potential for the tool.

How else could Screencastify be used?
-Record audio over a GoolgeSlides or Microsoft Powerpoint presentation.
-Explain a research process, taking viewers to sites that were/could be visited.
-Realtime video of teacher giving feedback on written work. (This example used Snagit - another screencasting tool - but the premise is the same.) 

How easy is Screencastify to use?
Downloading the extension and recording basic videos is very easy and intuitive (and free!). You just follow the system prompts.  Storing and sharing videos is easy since everything is accessible from the web. However, the free version of Screencastify does not come with many features, even basic cropping, so you must have some willingness and familiarity with YouTube to be able to edit the video in any way. 

I'd love to see and hear any other ideas you have for screencasting in your own classroom!
-Brittany R


  1. I always wanted to know how this worked. Thanks for sharing!

  2. If you're using a Mac, the screen record option is already a part of your QuickTime Application, and super easy to use!! Only because I couldn't download Screencastify to my computer :)