To create a really good screencast, you need to break it up into three distinct parts. In this blog post we will look at some simple changes you can make before you record, while you record, and after you record, in order to maximize the impact of the screencasts you create at your school.
- Choose a quiet place to record. This minimizes distracting sounds in the final video.
- Clean up your desktop. It can be distracting for viewers and can make for a bad impression.
- Mute notifications on all devices, not just the one you are recording on.
- Open all the tabs and apps you need for the recording so they are read to go.
- Close tabs and apps you don't need for the recording. This frees up extra memory on your computer and helps ensure things run smoothly while you record.
- Have a script or outline to help you remember what to say and what order to say it in. Some people like a word for word script. Others prefer bullet points or a list.
- Do a practice run. This is important for finding out what works and what doesn't when you come to record later on.
- Use a USB Mic. The quality is better than the mic that is built-in to your computer. It will make your screencast sound more professional and can cut down on background noise.
- Don't stop...even if you make mistakes. If you trip over a word or phrase, pause for a few seconds, then say it again. You can edit this out later.
- Try not to exceed one minute per grade level. If you are making a video for 4th graders, try to keep it under 4 minutes. Shorter is always better. You can always make multiple videos if you have to.
- Use text, images and video to add variety to your screencasts. For instance, some tools let you add a webcam recording of yourself.
- Be yourself. Record with energy and humor. Try to engage your audience. Talk as if they were right there listening to your record. It improves your chances of keeping people watching to the very end.
- Try recording with a partner. If you have a stage or content partner, experiment with a two-person screencast for more variety in voice and in personality. Treat it like a podcast or radio show.
- For inking, try a Wacom tablet or a mobile device. Don't subject people to the writing you do with the touchpad on your laptop unless you are very good at it!
- Remember those mistakes you made while recording? A video editor can help you edit those out.
- Video editors are also great for trimming website loading times. Just because you had to wait for the website to load, doesn't mean your viewers have to. If you can, don't speak while a website loads, then you can cut it out later and not miss any of the instructional content.
- Some editors will let you add annotations on screen. This can be great for calling attention to things on the screen or for adding information that you forgot to include during the recording.
- Cite your sources. You would expect your students to do it, so make sure you set a good example for others by doing the same. If you used music or images from other places, add a slide at the end of your video to say where they came from.
Digital Learning Consultant