Screencasting is becoming more of an integral part of learning online. The ability to screencast allows educators to create content that can be recorded housed on a site such as Youtube and viewed by distance learners, multiple times. There are a number of programs and apps that allow screencasting. Each one having different components that allow for a more immersive viewing experience.
If you are starting out, you may not want to invest in an expensive screencasting software such as Camtasia, Captivate or Articulate. Screencasting isn’t for everyone and educators may want to try to get the hang of it and decide if it is a viable option for them. That is where Screencastify can be of assistance.
Screencastify is an app or plugin that can be added to a web browser. The lite version which is limited in features, can be used for free. The fully loaded version is still cheaper than investing in one of the aforementioned software packages. Screencastify does allow the user to screencast, upload to Youtube, as well as Google Drive, and locally. This app provides a decent screen and audio quality, with the ability to add highlighting to clicked icons, and pointing tools. The user can also draw on the screen and add video of themselves as they complete the screencast.
The consulting firm that I am currently employed, initially had limited licenses to Captivate. I discovered Screencastify upon searching for a cheap alternative that would allow me to complete instructional demos for a client. I found that while the lite version does not have as many features as one of the bigger software suites, this app will allow the basic screen recording.
Of course nothing is perfect and there is always the downsides. First and foremost in the lite version there isn’t the ability to do in app video editing. If you mess up you are out of luck unless you find a video editor. Also the length of screencasts are limited to ten minutes per video, for longer cast you may have to start and stop and upload multiple videos.
If you are a heavy user-lite is limited to 50 videos per month- or require longer videos, there is the option to upgrade for 24.00 per year which in comparison to some of the other tools is still nominal. The upgrade provides unlimited recording length, unlimited videos, and allows for the ability to extract the mp4 file from the video and includes a video editor.
I do still recommend that if you are new to casting, that giving the lite version a try isn’t a bad idea. While the price of the upgrade isn’t expensive in comparison to for example Captivate, if the freeware works for your needs then you can save yourself the money.