Screencasting is a useful and versatile tool for all learners, both teachers and students. Teachers can use it to create task walkthroughs for students like the one I posted here. They can also use it to assess students thinking about concepts and then provide feedback by commenting on the screencast if students share it with them through youtube or some other channel.
Students benefit by creating a visual and auditory performance of a concept (as opposed to a written performance) which they can then critique either on their own when they come to review a topic or study it in more detail. Work can also be saved for future classes to view, critique and improve.
The drawbacks are that it takes a certain level of investment to get comfortable using. I have had students resist doing an activity because they didn’t like the sound of their own voice understandably. This means that gentle encouragement and coaching can draw out the process. In addition students need to be shown how to to this, what software to use and what websites to visit on top of the content that you are trying to help them engage with ultimately.
On this page I introduce readers to an online sketchpad that when combined with screencasting as shown on this page provides an excellent tool for student performances that get away from the pen and pencil and engage other senses in the learning process.
In the performances below, my grade 11 HL Biology students were asked to use sketchpad to describe the process of DNA replication while recording a screencast. I think that the results speak for themselves, and I think any teacher will see the benefit of having students submit work in this format:
Example No 1
Example No 2:
Example No 3: