Friday, March 4, 2016

Recording Using Your Computer Webcam

As teachers explore ways to extend the learning to students beyond the school day, we have increasingly been asked this question, "How can I record myself using my computer webcam?" 


Why teachers might want to record using their webcam: 
  • teacher recording him/herself explaining instructions to an assignment and then posting the video to myPISD, Google Drive, YouTube, Google Classroom, Google Sites, PISD TV, etc.
  • a quick lesson for the substitute to show to the class 
  • recording student presentations or demonstrations
  • recording a guest speaker, who's connecting virtually through something like Google Hangouts, to show to other classes
  • explaining and demonstrating an assignment, recording both the computer screen and the video of the teacher in the corner of the screen (as shown in image below). 

Using Screencast-o-matic to record computer screen and small video of presenter/teacher.


There are several ways to do this. We have narrowed it down to two that are the easiest and most compatible with our school network computers. 


The Chrome Extension called Screencastify can be used to record the following: 1) a video of just yourself taking up the entire screen, 2) a recording of only your screen, 3) a recording of your screen including a small video of yourself. It works great on Chromebooks, too! Here's how to use it:
  • Open Google Chrome
  • Sign in to Chrome using your PISD email address & network password
  • Go to the Chrome Web Store and add Screencastify. You will be prompted to enable videos to be saved directly to your Google Drive. How convenient!
From the Chrome Web Store, search for the Screencastify extension and click the "Add to Chrome" button.
  • The extension will be added on your extension bar

  • Open Screencastify, click CAM, check Show Preview Window, and you can start the recording.

  • Here's a quick video on YouTube from 2015 demonstrating how to add and use Screencastify.


This recording tool is available for install from the App Depot! Here are the instructions for installation. It does all of the above except you cannot record a video of just yourself to take up the entire screen using this free version.

The video below shows you how to use this awesome tool. Skip to 40 seconds, ignoring the instructions for installing the launcher from the website, because you will have already installed it from the App Depot.

Start at 40 seconds. 

If either of these screen recording tools do not meet your needs, please contact us in the Instructional Technology department to brainstorm other options, like Google Hangouts on Air or Movenote. And we can help you navigate this excellent, yet potentially overwhelming, list of screencasting resources by the great Kathy Schrock: Screencasting in the Classroom


  1. Leah, Nice to know that the district is promoting all the apps that we can use. I was using Jing a few years back, but couldn't install in the classroom. Thanks for sharing. I am planning to offer some tutorials in the summer. This will be great for my students!

    1. Thanks, Leslie. (Sorry I didn't respond sooner!) Good luck and let me know if you need any help. Xt. 28971