This week we review the tool Screenr.
Screenr is a tool to make free, web-based screencasts.
A screencast is a video of something that is happening on a computer screen, often containing an audio narration. Screencasts are commonly used for tutorials but can have other uses.
Why we like Screenr:
- It is free
- It is web based so there is nothing to install
- It works on PC or Mac and plays on iDevices
- You can embed screencasts on your blog or website
- It can be used in many subject areas and by both primary and secondary teachers
- It is very easy to use
- You can make screencasts up to five minutes long
T & Cs:
While children under 13 are not permitted to use Screenr themselves, it is a very handy tool for teachers as they can make screencasts for their students. It is important to note that all Screenrs are public unless you have a pro Screenr business account.
How to use Screenr:
1. Go to http://www.screenr.com/ and click on the record button either up the top or down the bottom. You can then go to the internet page or program you wish to show in your screencast.
2. There are three steps to starting your screencast. A prompt on the screen reminds you what to do.
- Move and resize the frame to choose what part of your screen you want to record
- Click the red button to record (most laptops have inbuilt microphones if you don’t have an external one)
- Press done when finished
3. When you are finished, you will need to login to publish your Screenr. You don’t need to set up a Screenr account; you can login with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Linkedin or Windows Live ID.
4. You may be prompted to set up a Screenr username. Tip: you might want to make your username “Mrs/Ms” or “Mr” someone if you’ll be using the tool with your students.
5. The next step is to publish your Screenr. You will need to add a description in the box down the bottom. If you decide not to publish your Screenr, there is a delete button in the bottom right hand corner. Hit publish when you’re done.
6. On the final page, you can watch or share your Screenr. Look on the right hand side for your URL to share or HTML code to embed on your blog or website. You can also publish your Screenr to YouTube or download an MP4 file to play on your computer.
Using Screenr in the Classroom:
Teachers or older students could make all sorts of screencasts with Screenr.
I have used this tool to make a screencast showing how to comment on our class blog. This provides an explanation for new visitors to our blogs and less tech savvy families.
You may have heard of the flipped classroom model where class time is spent on interacting with students while theory is learnt at home via internet technology such as screencasts, podcasts or vodcasts. Screenr could be a great tool to use in flipped classroom situation.
More ideas on how Screenr could be used to make screencasts:
- Students over 13 could make their own screencasts as evidence of learning. An assessment task could be to make a Screenr explaining a concept.
- Teachers could use screencasts to give feedback to students who had created a piece of digital work.
- Teachers could make screencasts for younger students to explain a task. This could allow those students to work independently which would free up the teacher to work with other students.
- Teachers or students could make tutorials on how to use different programs for others.
How else could you use Screenr in the classroom? Have you tried it? Leave a comment and let us know!
Tip: click on the title of this post and scroll down to find the comment box.
Good luck using Screenr and look out for the next edition of Tech Tools for Teachers in two weeks.
Simon, Kathleen and Matt