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:

Screencast-O-Matic

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:

Loom is Introducing a Desktop Screencasting Tool is also from Richard Byrne.

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.

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