Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Tools For Making Screencasts


Screencasts are audio-narrated “tours” of what you see on your computer screen (they don’t have to narrated, but it works much better if they are). Screencasts that I have seen are primarily used to show how to use various computer applications. They are wonderful teaching tools, especially for technological dummies like myself.

They can also be used as good speaking opportunities for English Language Learners.

I’ve written a lot about how I use online video games with ELL’s
. One thing I’d like to do is have students play video games using “walkthroughs” (instructions and hints about how best to “win”) and create instructional screencast ”walkthroughs” that would teach other students how to play the game.

Of course, students could also just leave a stationary picture on the screen and talk about it.

In order to make it on this list, the application needed to be accessible to ELL’s and not require any downloading of software, since downloads are problematic for many schools.

Here are my picks for The Best Tools For Making Screencasts:


And, though I’m limiting this list to apps that require no software download, I do feel I have to at least mention Jing, which is a very popular free tool available by download. Teacher Training Videos also has a screencast explaining how to use Jing.

Screencasting In The Classroom is a guide from Kathy Schrock (thanks to Vicki Davis for the tip).

Screencastify looks like a great tool for making screencasts, though it only works in Chrome. Read more about it at Bill Ferriter’s blog.

Loom lets you easily make screencasts, though it can only be used in Chrome.  Here’s a video about it:

If you think I’m missing any tools, or if you have other ideas on how they can be used effectively with students, feel free to leave a comment.

You might also be interested in the other nearly 350 “The Best…” lists.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hi, Larry. I’ve been usign to make screencasts. What I like about it? It’s easy to use and after you record, you can tweet it automatically and also download it to your youtube account. The easiest tool I’ve used so far. The quality of the image is also very good. The only problem is that you have a limit of 5 minutes.

  2. Good list. I really love Screentoaster too. Without a doubt the most simple screencasting tool I have ever used. The problem I find with Jing is that it doesn’t give you enough options once you have made the screencast. You can’t save the file to be edited in another program. Screentoaster will allow you to save your file as either a .mov file or even a Flash movie.

  3. Dear Larry,

    I just loved your list, as always 🙂 I must confess that once I started using Jing, never stopped! I even have a paid account to to upload all my screencasts to it. It´s worth every penny.

    Thanks for one more wonderful list!


  4. Had a lot of fun creating a screencast using Screenr. Seemed the most logical choice since I am already on Twitter and didn’t have to create yet another account. What a great tool!

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  6. I use a couple of different free tools that are not listed here. You might want to consider Tipcam, from or you could try Debut from NCH Software at

    I use them both for quick and easy screencaps with output to various video formats such as FLV, AVI, MPG, WMV to name a few of the more popular formats.

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  8. For those of you who use SMART Notebook, you have a free screencasting tool built in – SMART Recorder. It works very well with your SMART Board.

  9. I’m looking around for something new, having used up the limit on my free Jing. Cheers Larry!

  10. Thanks for the list. I’ve had great success with Apple’s Quicktime’s screen recorder over SMART Notebooks recorder. Unfortunately, it doesn’t (yet?) give the option to record only portions of the screen. I just played with Screentoaster after reading your blog and I’m excited to use it next school year! Thanks for the ideas!

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