What Is Screencasting?
Falling under the umbrella of wireless presentation solutions, screencasting is the process of recording and sharing a computer screen, usually accompanied with audio. Screencasting and recording software opens the door for teachers to reach students through engaging videos while maintaining control over the content their students are consuming.
“Screencasting offers us a chance to still provide the understanding, insight, and knowledge we have, in a digital medium that students are comfortable with,” writes Tiffany Ott, director of curriculum development for Teach Better, an educational services organization. “They love watching videos, so why not let them watch a video you have created?”
4 Ways Screencasting Can Benefit K–12 Schools
There are a variety of use cases for screencasting, including tutorials; recording audio and visual feedback when face-to-face meetings are not possible; and creating lessons that can be viewed anytime.
Screencasting, and wireless video solutions in general, can help facilitate communication between all stakeholders. Here are four key relationships that can benefit from using this technology to improve content sharing:
Teacher-to-student: Educational videos are the next wave in modern classroom engagement. According to video solutions provider Kaltura’s most recent “State of Video in Education” report, 98 percent of survey respondents thought interactive videos would play a key role in education, specifically with personalized learning. Using screencasting tools, teachers can create videos, give students recorded feedback on assignments and even teach students how to create their own videos, which 86 percent of teachers believe is an important skill set students will need for future employment.
Teacher-to-teacher: Many teachers are eager to learn from other teachers how to improve their lesson plans, but there’s usually not much time in the day for in-depth conversations in the teachers’ lounge. Or, perhaps educators do not know about the success their peers in other school districts are having. Through screencasting, educators can demonstrate for fellow teachers how they have found success with certain educational tools, which others can emulate in their classrooms. “Record a quick screencast where you show your colleagues a new tech tool you found or a lesson idea you came up with,” Ott suggests. “Share the screencast digitally, maybe even make a Team Drive in Google, and you can create an amazing digital library of awesome ideas that anyone on your team can access anytime.”
IT leader-to-teacher: Screencasting can be a helpful tool for technology coaching, as video recordings can be played and replayed at any time, allowing educators to learn at their own pace about new technology solutions. IT directors at Hamilton Township School District in New Jersey found Google’s screencasting tools to be helpful when designing professional development programs geared to classroom technology implementation.
Teacher-to-parent: It is important educators keep lines of communication open for parents, whether to talk about how individual students are doing academically or to announce upcoming events and school news. Screencasting can be a great alternative to the usual newsletter, as the audiovisual medium tends to be more engaging than a long email, according to Ott: “As a parent myself, and after many conversations with parents, I have come to realize that reading a newsletter or a multiparagraph email often gets pushed to the side in the face of chaotic schedules. Modern society is saturated with multimedia communication. In just a few minutes, I can share loads of updates with parents, let them see my face and my facial expressions, and speak directly to them in a far more personal way.”
Screencasting’s Popularity Signals a Larger Trend in Video Solutions
The rise in demand for screencasting tools is the consequence of increased adoption of video in the classroom.
As schools find visual media to be among the most successful ways to engage students, districts are investing heavily in video solutions as part of their modern learning environment redesigns.
“The market for commercial-grade wireless presentation solutions passed a major milestone in 2018, with shipments of wireless presentation solutions — whether hardware-based, room hubs, collaboration displays or software — reaching 1 million units globally,” Futuresource Consulting’s Ben Davis told EdTech: Focus on Higher Education. “The education vertical has been a strong adopter of these technologies in North America, where 33 percent of product shipments during 2018 serviced the education market.”
Market demands echo a growing desire for displays that allow this kind of collaboration. In 2018, the market for interactive flat-panel displays grew by nearly 40 percent, spurring companies such as Google and Microsoft to improve the casting applications within their online platforms.
While fewer than 50 percent of educators have the tools they need to incorporate video into their teaching, 80 percent of those who do are already seeing benefits in student achievement, professional development and educator collaboration, according to Kaltura.
As schools start to move toward video-centric pedagogies, the next step will be to build a network infrastructure that can handle wireless streaming services. While this may be a strain on district budgets, research increasingly shows that the potential benefits for all stakeholders may be too great to hold back.