Thing x: Podcasting and Screencasting

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photo credit: Ayton via photopin cc

Our lesson this week introduces two ways for you and your students to record news, thoughts, ideas and presentations through audio recording (podcasting) and screen recordings (screencasting).

Podcasting/Audio Recording Give your students a voice! Podcasting tools let them record their thoughts, book reviews, presentations and more. You can use it to share tutorials, homework help, news and more. Podcasts are audio recordings that are stored on a website and can be shared with others. There are many tools for creating podcasts, ranging from super quick and simple free online tools (like AudioBoom – formerly AudioBoo) to free desktop software with lots of editing options (Audacity). A newer tool, FlipGrid, offers both video and audio (21 day free trial). And of course, there are tons of apps for tablets and smartphones, including a very recent release of a StoryCorps app for Android and iOS. All you really need is a computer and a microphone or a smartphone/tablet with an app.


Have you ever wanted to show someone how to use the library catalog, how to navigate your web site, use a software program or use a challenging web tool? One way to do it is by screencasting. Screencasting tools record whatever is happening on your computer or mobile device screen and let you record a voice narration as well. When you’re done recording, you end up with a video that can be uploaded to YouTube and embedded on your website.

Screenr, Jing and Screencastomatic are three free tools to create screencasts. There are also a number of paid Mac & PC software packages that provide higher-end features. But for most of our purposes the free online tools are just perfect. The online tools require Java & you many need to check with your tech staff to make sure your Java software is up to date.  Screencastify is a handy Google Chrome extension for screencasting.  And Educreations and Show Me are popular iPad apps.

These are terrific tools for students to use as well. Students could use screencasting to demonstrate mastery of tech tools, to create narrated presentations, teach skills to others and much more.



Sign up for a free account and record as many 3 minute audio segments as you like. Use your laptop’s built in microphone or an external microphone plugged into your desktop computer. There are also AudioBoom apps for iOS devices and Android. Each recording can be accompanied by an image – an uploaded photo, a scanned drawing or other graphic.

Your recordings can be grouped into boards based on any topic or organization scheme you like. From your settings page on AudioBoom (accessed by clicking on the little gear icon), you can set up connections with other sites (like and Blogger) and post your recordings to those sites.

These two pages have quick introductions to using AudioBoom.

Once you’ve created an AudioBoom, you can embed it on your blog page, like this:

[gigya src=”” style=”background-color:transparent; display:block; min-width:300px; max-width:700px;” flashvars=”image_option=none&imgURL=&link_color=%2358d1eb&mp3Author=pollyalida&mp3Duration=16819.0&” width=”480″ height=”150″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]


And here’s a screencast of how to find that embedding code for a blog. The AudioBoom screen looks a little bit different now, but all the same options are all still there.

SCREENR This easy to use, free tool, records whatever is taking place on your screen and turns it into a video. A voice-over narration can be added as you record. With the free account, you can create as many screencasts as you like, each can be up to 5 minutes long. Requires Java. Videos are stored on Screenr site, can be downloaded to your local computer or uploaded to YouTube. Embedding is possible from the Screenr and YouTube sites.

This short tutorial covers everything you need to know about using screenr.

Screenr tutorial by Paul Melrose

Two alternative tools are:

  • Screencast-o-matic – Very similar to Screenr. Includes more editing tools. Online tool, no download required. Like Screenr, it requires Java.
  • Jing – Requires a download of software to your Mac or PC. Also handy for taking static screenshots. Recording limit of 5 minutes.


  • Your choice! Choose podcasting or screencasting. Use the recommended tools or explore any other tool that you would like to test.
  • Title your blog post for this week: Thing 7
    • Share your experience testing out a new tool.
    • How might you use them with your students?
    • How can you use them yourself?

Some ideas:

1: Record a short podcast with AudioBoom (or any other podcast recording tool you might want to explore)

This free service is so easy to use. Sign up for a free account at Then decide if you’ll use the web-based recording tool or an app on a smartphone or tablet. If you use the web-based version, you’ll need a microphone attached to your computer and Java installed on your computer.

Either way, you just hit the record button and you’re recording. Do some test runs to make sure your volume is ok. Once you like what you’ve recorded, publish it and embed or link to it from your blog post.

2: Try screencasting with Screenr (or any other screencasting tool you’d like to explore)

Use this free online service to record a short tutorial (called a “screencast”) about your library web site, how to use a database, the catalog or some other tool. It doesn’t need to be long or perfect! This screencasting planning sheet from Greg Notess might be useful in planning your project.

When you’ve finished your screencast, link to it from your blog post. My two tips for planning a screencast:

  • Pick one task to focus on, something that will take less than 5 minutes. Preferably even shorter – no one wants to watch a 20 minute screncast!
  • Practice the steps you need to go through to demo it. This will help you record smoothly and quickly.

3: Or find and try another podcasting or screencasting app for your tablet, chromebook, phone or other mobile device.

LOG YOUR LESSON: Don’t forget to log your blog post when you’re done! When you finish this lesson by fill out the log form. You’ll need the URL of your first blog post to complete the form.


Credits – Some of the content for this lesson came from these Learning 2.0 projects:

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