Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Simple Video Presentations with Google Slides and Screencastify

Update:  I made a new version of this post, including a new tutorial to match the latest version of Screencastify. Click here to read it.

This is an updated process I first highlighted on this post from 2015. I used to use SnagIt to record the video, they stopped supporting it a few months ago. I've started using Screencastify. Below I have two updated tutorials that show how to record presentations using it.

The idea of these projects is that students make a slideshow presentation, then they record the screen and their voice as they present it.

Here are two examples of how the final video might look.The first is best to show students, but keep in mind it actually was made with SnagIt instead of Screencastify. SnagIt is no longer available. The second one was designed for teachers and refers specifically to their activity.


Screencastify is a great Chrome extension for this process. It makes it very easy to record the presentation on a Chromebook or laptop. It also links directly to Google Drive, so students don't have extra steps of uploading video files to Drive.

This tutorial shows the setup process, which has to be done the first time you use the extension. It's very intuitive to click through, but you might want to watch this before you try it with a class, just so you'll know what to expect.

Then this tutorial shows how to actually record the presentation (which is limited to 10 minutes if you're using the free version of Screencastify). As it says in the video, there are three things students should do before recording:
  • Do the process shown in the video above to set up the extension.
  • Make the slideshow. I suggest doing this in Google Slides, but you can use any slideshow app.
  • Practice! It's very important to rehearse the presentation because these have to be done in one take.

As you can see from the tutorial, the resulting video ends up in Google Drive. From there it's easy to share or turn it in through Google Classroom.

There is a paid upgrade of Screencastify which removes the time limit and watermark. It also allows for some basic editing. I haven't paid to upgrade yet, but the option to edit is very promising. 

If you have any questions about this process, please let me know. I'd like to improve these resources so they benefit many students!


  1. Thank you for helping me navigate my way through creating a video lesson for my students using Screencastify. I have heard about it but have been intimidated by the process.

    You make it look easy. I will need to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try. I know it would be beneficial to my students if they could rewatch lessons to catch the parts they didn't quite understand.

    Thank you again,

    Patricia Tarleton

  2. Hi Patricia. I'm glad to hear you found it useful! I agree your students will find it beneficial. Thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone for them. Also, I have found that recording myself and trying to be brief has made me more focused in my teaching.