At some point we have all had to provide “How to” instructions to friends and colleagues on navigating a website, sharing a document, or on the latest tech tip. You may have tried listing the directions. You may have been a little more adventurous and taken screenshots and added some arrows to help the user see where they should go and what they should click. You may have even combined the two methods. Somehow, you still face the dilemma of not being sure your friend or colleague fully understood what to do.
A free, simple solution to the “how to” dilemma is Screencastify. This is an extension that works with Chrome and will allow you to record up to 10 minutes of video using your computer’s microphone and camera. If you’re shy, you don’t even need to use the camera; you can set it to only record what is on your screen or browser.
To use Screencastify:
- Make sure you are using Chrome as your web browser.
- You will need to visit the Chrome Web Store and search for Screencastify (extension).
- Click the “Add to Chrome” button and accept the permissions.
- A new tab will open and ask where you want to store your files (Google Drive or locally). Selecting Google Drive will make sharing easier.
- Click the “Get Started” button. You will now see a short video on Screencastify.
- Once installed you will see this extension button on your Chrome browser.
You’re all set! Just click the button and start creating “How to” videos of your own.
Adrian Cantú is the social studies strategist at Weslaco Independent School District in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Prior to becoming the district’s strategist he taught social studies at Weslaco High School and dual-enrollment courses for South Texas College. He holds bachelor’s degrees in history and English and a master’s degree in history. Currently he is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Brownsville focusing on curriculum and instruction with a specialization in bilingual education.
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