Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Creating Screencasts with the Doodlecast App

Doodlecast Pro (Click here to see in iTunes; $0.99) is a great app that students and teachers can use to create screencasts on the iPad. Here’s a quick demo:

I’ve used this app in both World History AP and Rise of the Rest (a Social Studies elective for seniors). I assigned each student a term from class and asked them to create Doodlecasts where they defined and stated the significance of their terms. Students uploaded their Doodleasts to Youtube and linked them to a GoogleDoc on myMitty. When it was time to study for the exam, students had a “Doodlecast glossary” where they could watch screencasts made by their classmates.

Here are a couple of examples from Rise of the Rest:

There are other apps that students and teachers can use to create screencasts on their iPads, such as ShowMe (click here). A huge advantage of ShowMe is that it’s free! Functionally, it’s essentially the same as Doodlecast, although there are fewer editing options. Click here to see a ShowMe created by one of my World History AP students. On the other hand, a major downside of ShowMe is that the only way to share these screencasts is through posting on their website, showme.com. This means that if showme.com seizes to exist, student work will be gone, too. With Doodlecast, students can save their videos to their iPad camera rolls, and then upload to myMitty or Youtube.

If you’re considering trying screencasts in your classroom, you might want to start with ShowMe because it’s free. If it goes well and you’d like to be able to save videos in the long run and provide more editing options for your students, then you could ask your department chair to have Doodlecast purchased for your students.

I think creating screencasts has a lot of potential across disciplines. How might you use these in your classes?

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