Testing testing… Screencastify

This week, I decided to take on a concept that I have often wondered about… but have been too afraid to try: Screencastify!

via GIPHY

In my past classes with Alec, many people have used it,  but I never took the leap. Last week in class Dani kept saying how easy it was to use, and I trust her, so I decided to give it a try.

The first step to using Screencastify is to download it to your Chrome Suite. I Googled “Screencastify,” clicked on the first link and clicked the download button on the top right. It was super easy.

Right away I was taken to a YouTube video explaining how to use Screencastify:

I am not going to lie to you, this was not my favourite video. It’s not a bad video, and now that I have used Screencastify I can see how it is useful, but as a first time user, I was concerned that this would be harder than I thought. I actually went to a couple more like this one below:

Already it had better music, better details, and made me feel at ease.

So after you decide what to present there are three options: Browser Tab which shows what you are searching though on the web, Desktop which shows what you are presenting, and Webcam Only which is you speaking on the screen. I thought that using all three were fairly simple. I could not figure out how to see the preview of me talking while presenting on Desktop which made me uneasy. I wanted to be able to see how I looked at all times.

I decided to start my project and record my Apprenticeship and Sask. Youth Apprenticeship presentation. Right away I was frustrated with filming. I kept messing up my words and starting over because I didn’t like how it looked. It didn’t help that it counts down how many videos you have left before you need to pay…

After a while, I realized that I needed to practice more to feel at ease. At one point, my webcam went off and it stopped filming. I received a notification saying that it stopped, and that it changed my settings, and to be honest, I am unsure which setting was changed, but it worked after, so I kept going.

At this point,I was worried that I would need to start all over, so I started to Google “How to Edit Screencastify.” After discovering that I could put videos together, I felt better about messing up.  I talked until I flubbed, and then stopped the recording only to pick up where I left off. I ended up filming my presentation in 3 sittings.

At some point, I also lost the option of showing me speaking, but I felt more comfortable and finished talking about the content.

After I was done, I was over the ten minute free trial, so I needed to cut some slides. When I tried to edit, I was quickly reminded that I only had three days to edit…

     

Editing was pretty easy. The only option I was really given was to cut.

From here I had to click the + button to add my three videos. I looked at the presentation, decided where I wanted to cut, took out some parts where I sounded bad, and put it together. It was also longer than the free ten minutes so I deleted some other parts.

When the video was done, I was worried it would delete without the upgrade so I decided to download it to my computer. I took about 10 minutes to fully download, but then was available on my computer!

via GIPHY

What didn’t I like about Screencastify? The tutorials. The lack of free options. The fact that I was pressured into upgrading. It timed out on me. It stopped showing me halfway through, and it took too long to download.

So what did I like about Screencastify? It was pretty easy to use once I practiced. I liked how easy it was to put my three videos into one, and now I have a presentation I can use when my students miss the class!

I think this is a great tool to make presentations, and once I get used to it, I feel like I could make way cooler videos. I actually might pay for the upgrade to make it more interesting for my students. I think Screencastify got the job done, and I am happy I learnt how to make a presentation!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Testing testing… Screencastify

  1. Hi Amy! I used Screencastify for my Summary of Learning in ECI 830 and I did enjoy using it as well but I was also frustrated by the lack of “free options.” When I filmed my video, I couldn’t figure out how to cut it so I ended up downloading the video and then using a different editing software to put it together. I like the idea of screencastify and I think it is very simple to use, but I think it works best in the free trial anyways, for shorter clips. I also kept messing up and to avoid the editing conundrum that would follow, it took me a longggg time to record it! I wish some of these tools had more options for the free version, but I guess that’s how these companies make their money. One question, now that you are done with that video, does it no longer take up space in the storage? Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this review. At first I wasn’t sure if I would ever use screecastify myself but after reading Shelby’s comment, about using it for the summary of learning, I think it would be interesting to try. (Also, thanks Shelby for the tip on what not to do). The editing tip could be very helpful to save many hours of the frustration of trying to catch everything in one go.

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  3. Thank you Amy! I had a chuckle while reading your review. I could visualize things not going how you had hoped and it is for that reason that I am sometimes shy at trying new things. The thought of how long is it going to take me to get it right scares the daylights out of me. My time is so important to me, and I think everything should work as I need it to right away. Well, we all know technology does not work that way. I will take your advice and give this extension a try. With both you and Shelby giving it a thumbs up, I think I can do it!

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