UPDATED December 2015
One of the many things I have found is that, there are just a LOT of resources (free and paid) that are available for screencasting. I find that as a current middle school science teacher and math teacher (and former high school teacher), the “whiteboard” style screencast is an effective tool for delivering content to students. As part of my “flipped classroom quest” I have kept a running record of the websites, software…etc. I have found useful. If they help, great! Check them out below!
Note: My current recommendations are in Red!
Non-iPad Approach (Mac or PC)
When I first started I did not have an iPad, and therefore found inexpensive ways to create a good screencast. My initial tools were:
- A Wacom Table with Pen
- The browser based whiteboarding software like Educreations
- Screen recording (casting) software called Screencast-0-matic (pro version)
- Simple Webcam (I prefer Logitech Products)
This set up was $100 dollars total and works great! You get the power of unlimited length videos, your webcam image in the corner for a more personalized experience, the ease of writing, and you can save your videos to your computer or export them directly to Youtube! I needed to purchase the tablet at OfficeMax and the Pro version of screencast-o-matic. The webcam I needed was external because I was using a desktop with a simple monitor. Most laptops now have webcams and so that may or may not be an expense for you.
iPad Approach (Note Projection Only)
The iPad can be an amazing tool for recording notes. There are so many apps and web resources now that the few I mention are just the tip of the iceberg. My number one recommendation is to try multiple things. Don’t go off any one person’s recommendation. Now, that being said here is what I do.
When I want to project just notes, I use an app called GoodNotes. The app is simple but powerful. I use an apple TV in my classroom so I can airplay my iPhone, iPad, or Mac to my display for all my students to see. I also use a fine point stylus. If you don’t have the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro I recommend any fine point stylus from a company called Adonit. You can now pick up a fine point Adonit stylus in Target.
Unlike other apps, GoodNotes recognizes when you airplay and hides the controls and notifications of your device from the screen. This is very helpful limiting distraction. If you are looking to just walk around and free yourself from the front of the classroom then I highly recommend GoodNotes, an Adonit Stylus all while airplaying to your Apple TV*.
iPad Approach (Recording Option)
Using an iPad Air, and I find that using GoodNotes (iOS app) in conjunction with Reflector (computer software by a company called AirSquirrels) creates a seamless broadcasting of notes and the ability to record them for later publication on YouTube. Reflector is an amazing program. It basically lets you send your iPad or iPhone screen to your computer in real time. This allows you to use any screencasting/screen recording software to then record the iPad on the computer. This setup takes some time to get working but it saves time. You have to be ok with recording live so I definitely recommend practice.
Here is a diagram of what I use to make my videos. An example video is also below:
- Wacom Tablets (not sure which one to buy? CLICK HERE) (Note: Since posting this, Wacom has released a new series of tablets which are worth taking a look at!)
- iPad (I do recommend a full size iPad for presenting notes. I have used a mini but it just doesn’t work as well. Apple has released in recent days the iPad Pro. This device has mixed reviews so I recommend waiting for Apple to release the second or third generation of this tablet before purchasing it!)
- A good webcam. I like the built in webcam on Macbook Pro, but I also have a Logitech C270 which is inexpensive and works great!
- A microphone. This is optional. I wanted a higher quality sound, so I bought the logitech h800 wireless headset. They were $80 at Best Buy but they have worked great. The plug and play feature and bluetooth option is excellent!
Software for mirroring my iPad or taking control of my computer!
- Reflector by AirSquirrel ($12.99)
- I just want to say, that if you are a screencasting nut (like I have become) and an Apple or Microsoft user, this program is really inexpensive and worth every penny!
Software/Apps that allows me to write in “whiteboard” mode.
- App – Notability for iPad and/or Mac. ($0.99/$5.99)
- App – Explain Everything ($2.99) (Android and Apple)
- App – Good Notes (Best App for in class note taking I have come across!)($4.99)
Software that can record the screen so I can post my videos online!
- Camtasia Studio (Mac or PC) ($$$)
- Screencast-O-Matic (Mac or PC) (Free/Pro Version is $15/year)
- Quick Cast (Mac) (Free)
What does Sal Kahn use for the Kahn Academy Videos? CLICK HERE
*Apple TV has seen many changes recently with the release of the 4th generation model. I have both the 3rd gen and 4th gen models that I use regularly and I find no advantage for classroom use at this time in purchasing the 4th generation model. This is also based on the price point of $69 vs $149.
**Note: There are a lot of resources here about the flipped classroom. The reason for this, is that the screencasting model is really very closely associated with this classroom instruction method/model. I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to look into the flipped classroom if you are interested in screencasting.