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