Two Suggested Screencasting Tools for Communicating Information

May is a busy month. In lieu of my normal weekly newsletters for staff, I have elected to use a few screencasting applications to communicate information. Screencasts are brief video recordings that are uploaded to an online site such as YouTube or Vimeo. Smart educators I am connected with shared these web tools with me.

Touchcast

I use the iPad app. First, I set the tablet up in front of me and start a project. Next, I select images, quotes, and social media feeds through the vApps function. The content I plan on displaying during the recording are sitting on the bottom of the dock. Finally, I press record and away we go. I’ll bring up the media sitting in the dock, which will appear alongside me. I usually have a list of topics to discuss on a piece of paper, but only as a reference point. It is very boring to watch and listen to someone read text verbatim.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 7.55.25 PM

This is a screenshot of what I recorded today. Especially at this time of year, some of my staff are appreciative of watching a short video of information, instead of a newsletter to read. I will send out the video to staff via email along with the links and resources I reference in the Touchcast. I don’t use this tool nearly to its potential. Connect with Curt Rees or Peter Dewitt for expert advice. There are interactive features and green screen capabilities that make Touchcast a powerful tool for communication.

Movenote

The benefits of this screencasting tool is ease of use. While Touchcast has many bells and whistles, Movenote is pretty straightforward. Add some images to a slideshow, and press record. You move the slides as you speak.

Screen shot of me prepping slides for presentation.
Screen shot of me preparing slides for presentation.

While it is quick and easy to use, Movenote does not seem to be as well received as Touchcast. I find myself speaking longer in these productions, and 4-5 minutes should be the limit for any kind of screencast (attention spans tend to wander after that). Still, Movenote is a nice web tool when you need to convey some information in a pinch.

Do you use either one of these tools or both? If so, which one do you find working better for you over the other? Is there another screencasting tool that you prefer instead Touchcast or Movenote? Please share in the comments.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is a 17-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. After seven years of teaching, he served as a dean of students, assistant principal and athletic director before becoming an elementary principal in Wisconsin Rapids. Matt is now an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District (http://mineralpointschools.org/). Matt tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD (www.ascd.org) and Lead Literacy (www.leadliteracy.com).

7 thoughts on “Two Suggested Screencasting Tools for Communicating Information”

  1. Hi Matt
    I’ve used TouchCast in two ways. The first as a way as an alternative to writing an introduction post in an online course. Prior to this I’ve played around with Tellagami and creating You Tube videos. The drawback to these is that you become just another “talking head”. The advantage of TouchCast is having the Vapps (Video apps) available to pull up eg an interactive Google map, photos, polls and quizzes, even video within video, luckily you are restricted to five minutes! In a blended or online learning environment this tool enables you to create Touchcast to add interest and make the online learning experience far more interesting, engaging your learners. The second way is engaging students, enabling them to use another tool to demonstrate their learning. I’m currently working with our Humanities teacher and his Yr 7 students, presenting their predictions on who was responsible for the sinking of the Titanic., work in progress at the moment.
    Check out examples that can be found here : http://www.touchcast.com/stcscience/earthquakes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you Viv, the apps make the difference. I only touched on a few in this post. I’ll check out what your students have shared so far – thanks!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s