Screencasting with an iPad

These are some additional notes from Screencast Camp that I attended in August of 2012.

The Quest for the iPad screencasting app…
By Anton Bollen

Currently there is not a real good solution for using screencasting to capture how to use an iPad or it’s application. This presentation will explore some possibilities…


  • Use a document camera to record video…easy, gestures are captured, details are harder to see, less polished. for tutorial for recording iPad with a video camera.
  • Use iPad mirroring to record screen (Reflection MAC or PC or Air Server Apps) and use Camtasia to record the screen….no touches or gestures get captured, inexpensive $15,
  • Use a video capture box/card
  • Jailbreak your iPad…display recorder app
  • To Visualize Gestures

    Gestures are important as they show how to use an app, much like a mouse on a traditional keyboard
    Create graphics to show touch and animate within Camtasia, such as a circle animated in different ways.
    Use a green screen to record various actions using your hand, then use the resulting video in Camtasia to layer over captured screen cast.


    GestureWorks software with fonts showing icons for gestures

    Screencasting 101 Notes and Ideas from Screencast Camp

    Screencasting looks like it can be a good tool for providing simple to complex tech support for teachers. Students can also use it to create mini videos commenting on a picture in a foreign language or explaining a concept in a subject. Here are my notes from this morning’s session at Screencast Camp 2012 at TechSmith in Okemos

    Screencasting 101
    By Anton Bollen


    Tech support
    Teams- feedback, sharing across time zones and places

    Who is the audience? What is the expected quality level expectations for the product? As quality increases- time required increases..

    Two types of Screencasts
    Basic- audio and video is recorded at same time, no post production, less professional looking, less flexibility for output formatting.Quick easy way to show a skill, providing tech support
    Prof- video and audio recorded separately, editing necessary, scripted, huge time commitment, can add annotations/drawings
    Tools for Screencasts

    Basic Tools-
    SnagIt, Jing (free download) use Jing to record foreign language report using a picture

    More Advanced-
    Camtasia (can create a table of contents)

    Remove icons from desktop prior to recording screencasting, right click…
    Short lengths work best 2-3 times,
    Break them up into short sections, to make it easy for user to find what they need.
    Two column chart for organization… One column indicates on screen action, paired with script
    Prep ahead of time
    Use a plain background, grey will make the application stand out
    Bigger cursor makes it easier to follow
    Possible create a screencasting account on your computer
    Pay attention to size of viewers video, optimize what you need to show, advanced programs will allow you to zoom in.
    Recommended dimensions 1280 x 720 (16×9 ratio) in SnagIt it will show the size. Good for YouTube videos.
    Sizer …PC only
    Audio matters, use a good quality microphone. Snowball microphone is pretty good quality around 100$
    Watch your surroundings, background noises should be limited, for separate audio use Audacity

    Applications and ideas for schools
    Install Jing as part of image for teacher and student computers.
    Use screencast for directions and tech support.
    Need to create dummy classes to use for tech support

    In Focus: iPhone Photography

    I am starting a series of posts about using the iPhone and taking good photos. I have an iPhone 4 and seem to get pretty good results. This first post will be just a simple list of the apps that I use most often for creating good photos. Later in the series I will explore each of them in more detail.

    For Photography
    Pro HDR
    Tile Shift Gen
    Fast Camera

    Just for Fun Photography
    VFX Studio
    Lightning Cam

    How about you? What apps do you use with your iPhone for photography?

    Five Things I’ve Learned

    I got this idea from Ewan Mcintosh (@mcintosh, who was one of the first educators to contribute to the site Five Things I’ve Learned sponsored by the Pearson Initiative.
    Here are my five things…

    1. My students are not digital natives.
    Just because some students have been around computers since they were born doesn’t magically make them better. If this was the case then I should have been an automotive native, since I’ve been around cars all my life. In fact I would argue that those of us my age and a little bit older (I’m 43) would be the true natives as we’ve seen much of the development of personal computers within our lifetimes. This assumes that we’ve used computers all of our lives and many of my peers thought computers were geeky when they were first available to us.

    2. Classroom management systems don’t work for me and my students.
    The key words being “for me and my students”. They may work for some students and teachers but I find that they are to restrictive. What works for me is my expectations and the understanding that I will treat each individual with respect and care.

    3. It’s not acceptable to be non- proficient with technology as a teacher.
    I’m still surprised by teachers who aren’t proficient with basic tools of technology. Worse yet some don’t seem to think that their students need to be proficient. Technology is not going away, parents (often) aren’t teaching the skills, so it’s up to teachers to make it happen. Can you imagine a teacher saying they don’t know how to read or write?

    4. Teachers need to make connections beyond their classroom and school walls.
    Professional development at the school and district level is not enough to keep one up to date with new ideas in education. Today it is too easy to make connections around the world. These connections can bring new ideas, insight and perspective.

    5. I think the key for improving education is individualization.
    All students are different. Why do we insist on grading and evaluating them by their date of birth? This doesn’t happen anywhere else in their lives. I haven’t got my grade 38 report card yet, have you gotten yours? I’m not sure how to make the change to more individualization of school, but the current drive towards standardization of all students is just going to turn off more students to learning.

    So there’s my five. What are yours?

    Blogging with the iPad

    I think this is going to make it easier for me to be more consistent with my writing here. Although to be fair, I think this has been my most productive year ever on this site. What is it that will make this possible? The new EduBlogs App for the iPad. I use my iPad far more than I use my laptop now, so this will be an easier way to write on my blog. The set up was quite easy, just log in with your user name and password, then select your blogs to be added. That’s it! Creating and editing a new post was also super easy.

    Sifteo and Scouting

    I purchased a set of Sifteo Cubes earlier this year and had been using them in the classroom.  Students used them to practice simple math and spelling skills.  I wondered how I could use this tool with the scouts in my troop.

    One of the important parts of an early scout’s learning is memorizing the Oath and the Law.  Usually it is learned by just plain memorizing it, which for some scouts is not the easiest way to learn something.  I used the Matching Creativity Kit to create a game for learning the Oath and another for learning the Law.   I tested it with the scouts and found that they enjoyed using the Sifteo Cubes. Just recently, I sent email to Sifteo to see if they wanted a post for their blog.  They were interested so I sent off an email with the post.   Check out the post and pictures (I took the pictures too…) here:

    Sharing… A Crucial Innovation in Schools

    A long time ago (no not in a galaxy far, far away)  I attended a session by Mark Prensky he had said something along the lines of the following.

    We are All Learners

    We are All Teachers

    I added these questions and an additional statement. My contributions are in italics.

    We are all learners….What did you learn today?

    We are all teachers…What did you help someone learn today?

    We are a Community… What did you share today?

    I think if more people used these thoughts and statements to guide their thinking and learning our schools would be far more successful.  Imagine if everyday, you shared something you knew with another teacher…and understood that you had something to learn as well.

    At the MACUL Conference recently Rushton Hurley  ( made the following comments in the sessions I attended.

    Isolation is the most cancerous part of education


    There is something cool happening every day, every teacher does it, maybe accidentally, but it happens sometime during the year.


    The key to defeat the cancer that is isolation is to share…. Share with your fellow teachers, but not just in the teacher’s lounge. Share on Facebook, create a web page, a webmix, share on twitter. Administrators, make time available for teacher’s to share their successes and recognize the teachers who are stretching their skills and seeking new ideas.

    Simply Symbaloo

    I’ve compiled a collection of the best webmixes from Symbaloo and created a page to share them. The site is organized by the following categories

    • Elementary Classroom Examples
    • Fun Sites for Kids
    • Future Projects
    • Middle School Examples
    • Subject Area Examples
    • Symbaloo Tutorials
    • Tech Tools and Resources for Teachers
    Add your favorites in the comments below…

    Highlights from Technically Speaking….

    Here are a few highlights from my school site Technically Speaking….

    Smart Board Resources


    This site is a treasure trove of interactive activities for use with your Interactive White Board. Activities are organized by subject area and include activities for: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Brainteasers, Art, Music, Holidays and Teacher Tools. The best part is they are free!


    Check them out here:

    Dr. Suess and Berenstain Bears By Grade Level

    Here’s a resource listing Dr. Suess and Berenstain Bears books by grade level. 

     Check it out here:


     Check out the site Technically Speaking here:

    A Single IPad Classroom- What Can I Do?

    Here are my thoughts from this session on using one iPad in a classroom.

    Ground Rules for use:
    very clear on how to be (behaviors) and where to go on the iPad (apps to use
    No warnings, lose iPad privileges for a short time (suspension)

    Prep for use
    Do it yourself first.
    Create a guide sheet.
    You can also let a student pilot an app and become the “resident expert”

    Uses for One iPad
    Work sharing
    Teaching tool
    Single student use for remediation or skill improvement
    Center/ Daily Five

    Elementary Classroom and Teacher Apps
    Sock Puppets
    Zapd app look here for info from this session
    Airsketch- interactive white board tool…bluetooth communications to your computer
    Groovy grader- easy grader app
    Appzilla. -90apps in one
    Big Words- used as a sign, directions
    APOD astronomy photo of the day
    Storyrobe take a picture, add an audio track to create a movie easily
    Simplex phonics app-spelling
    Hyperblaster. Math fact practice app…kids like it cause its like a video game
    Popplet- graphic organizer
    Creative Book Builder CBB- iBooks