Screencasting and screen sharing

Have you ever wanted to show someone how to use an online work organisation tool, how to navigate your web site, use a software program or use a challenging web tool? Or have you had to show way too many people the same steps and need a way to record these steps so students or staff can find the directions they need, when they need them.

Screencasting and Screen Sharing tools really can help with this.


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. What you can do with the video depends on the tool you used, but most common options include uploading to YouTube, dowloading to you computer or embedding on a website.

Screencastomatic & Screencastify (Chrome)  are free, easy to use tools that work on a PC or a Mac. There are also a number of paid Mac & PC software packages that provide higher-end features if you need them. But for most purposes, the free online tools are perfect. Some of the online tools require Java, so check with your tech staff to make sure your Java software is up to date. For your Chromebooks, try Screencastify. (Also available as an add-on for Firefox)

Many educators are also using Google docs/Apps for their work, so it’s also worth looking at how to make screencasts with Screencastify and Google slides.

From your ipad

If you want to record your iPad screen, it’s not quite as straightforward. But these inexpensive tools, Airserver and Reflector, will stream your iPad to your computer and record it from there. What’s even better is the option to connect your ipad as a demonstration tool for lectures or tutorials. Matt Ireland provides inspiration for this process:

Overall there 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.

Screen sharing

Screen sharing is the process of giving another computer user access to a computer screen. With the use of free screen sharing software or paid screen sharing software, collaborating, conducting a meeting, and even socializing is now made convenient. Finding the best screen sharing software with great features can be a task. Screen sharing tools don’t record your screen activities, they’re more like a live meeting where you’re sharing your screen with a limited group of people. This is helpful during online meetings, webinars and when you’re trying to troubleshoot someone’s computer problems. Particularly important for instructional purposes, free screen sharing allows instructors to share solutions and demonstrations step-by-step. Many universities or education organizations include a synchronous screen sharing/data-conferencing platform in their suite of tools, such as Bridgit.


YouTube is the second highest-used social media platform in Australia, which gives a clear indication of the power and outreach of video. Consider the popularity of TED talks, which have now branched out into TEDx and TED-Ed talks. The Khan Academy has also changed how we learn online. However, MOOCs continues to be the biggest influence on higher education and teaching, sharing content online through the medium of video. Even if you simply want to record a performance, lab experiment or interview as part of your research, there are several low cost ways of capturing video, including web cam, portable device or even your trusty digital camera.

If you film your video in one take – congratulations to you!  Most of us will need to edit what we’ve recorded. This also allows you to add introductory images, overlay audio and music and use more professional transitions between scenes. Your computer will already come with some software programs you can use.

  • Windows Movie Maker has some basic audio recording and editing features. (Windows 7).
  • iMovie video editing software (Mac).
  • Use Snagit for short, simple recordings of your screen. Whether you want to document a process or answer a quick question, here’s how to record screen videos that you can share it with anyone. You can use Snagit videos to:
    • Walk someone through a process or issue
    • Record a video call
    • Make a software or product demo
    • Give audio and visual feedback
    • Record a live streaming video

With the quality of mobile devises and smart phones on the increase, there are also a number of free and low-cost Apps which can help you record and edit videos.  Investigate these:

But these really are the tip of the iceberg.

Talking about free video conferencing and screen sharing software. Perhaps the most popular software among the list is Skype. Its VoIP and instant messaging services are known better, but Skype is also one of the best free screen sharing software. Skype’s basic screen sharing feature is easy to use and learn. This option to share screens were not possible for free accounts until Skype added its use for said accounts. The screen sharing process can be made during a call by clicking the share screen button. This software is accessible since most users can easily download it for free. You can use the free screen sharing feature with one participant or more.

But most of these approaches require some kind of download.  If you need to do some quick screensharing with a colleague (anywhere around the world) without a download,  then consider Mikago which is available free for business and personal use. A free account gives you unlimited use of the standard features for a quick one-to-one screensharing meeting right in your browser. Don’t feel limited by email attachment sizes ever again – Mikogo lets you send participants files up to 200MB. Check out the features.

Try this


  • Screencastomatic – (Free and Fee) – This tools runs from a website, but also has a downloaded application for Mac or PC that will run from your desktop. It can be used to record anything on your computer. Free account is limited to 15 minute videos, which is plenty!  (TUTORIALS)
  • Screencastify for Chrome and Chromebooks – (Free and Fee) Similar to Screencastomatic. Runs from a website and records whatever you have on the screen. Recording limit of 10 minutes, which is more than enough. Short recordings are more successful and useful.
  • Snagit for Mac/PC – ($) Downloadable screencasting and screen-capture software that runs on a PC or Mac. Create recordings of any application on your computer, not restricted just to capturing content from web browsers. Record audio and use video trimmer to clip out unwanted bits after recording. 15 day free trial. $49.95 for a single education license for 1 computer.  Multiple license pricing available too. Tutorials
  • Airserver and Reflector – Try out a free trial of these tools for broadcasting and recording from your iPad
  • EduCreations – (Free / Fee for upgrades) iPad app that helps you capture screenshots, annotate them and record your voice. Great for students to show their work to you. And for instructors to record help files and lessons for students.
  • Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live – Using the screen sharing function, you can record what’s on your screen and talk at the same time. You can broadcast live if you like,  or select a private recording.

Screen Sharing

  • – Really simple & free video conferencing tool for up to 8 participants. Web based, no accounts needed. Screen sharing works in Google Chrome.
  • Google Hangouts – Need to show your screen to someone? Or do they need to share theirs? Google Hangouts is a quick, easy way to do that. You can have up to 10 people in a video hangout.
  • ScreenLeap – Share your screen with others. Very handy for troubleshooting a problem on a remote computer. Free account limits your sessions to 2 other people and up to 30 minutes. Pro accounts available.
  • – Similar to ScreenLeap. Share your screen with up to 10 participants using the free account.

Explore further

  • Anson, C. M., Dannels, D. P., Laboy, J. I., & Carneiro, L. (2016). Students’ perceptions of oral screencast responses to their writing: Exploring digitally mediated identities. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 30(3), 378–411.
  • Gaimaro, A. (2015). Promoting engagement with online presentations. In S. Hai-Jew (Ed.), Design Strategies and Innovations in Multimedia Presentations (pp. 322-336). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Griesbaum, J. (2017). Feedback in learning: Screencasts as tools to support instructor feedback to students and the issue of learning from feedback given to other learners. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 7(9), 694-699.
  • Robinson, M., Loch, B., & Croft, T. (2015). Student perceptions of screencast feedback on mathematics assessment. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 1(3), 363–385.
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