Canvas Video Capture

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Canvas has a marvellous tool in the editor that creates a video from your webcam, places it where you are editing and saves it to the Arc repository. This is potentially the easiest way to create welcome videos except that it requires your browser flash player to be up to date. Every time I have gone to demonstrate this feature in Canvas they are met with the Flash screen of death.

And even if this worked fine, ARC can’t upload to Youtube.

While it might be a useful digital literacy to show people about updating their Chrome flash browser, a lot of those I am working with are already challenged enough with the change of LMS. I approached Project Rewire to suggest having automatic updates for everyone’s Chrome browser, which is in their interest given the push for introduction videos. They soon let us know this is not possible.

Canvas Screen Capture

I have also been asked by an academic to look into trailing ScreenCastOmatic as an LTI add on to Canvas. Again this is Flash based and I am reluctant to go down this path although there may be other advantages.

The trend with browsers is that they are becoming increasingly intolerant of Flash due to unreliability. Opera, a favourite of some due to its stability and speed is especially difficult around flash.

An Easier Way?  Video from the Chrome browser

Thanks to Twitter I came across a tool developed by Google specialist Alice Keeler called Webcam Record. It is a Chrome extension that records up to 30 second videos in one click from your browser. Videos up to 30 seconds are saved to your Google Drive where they can be uploaded to either Arc or Youtube. The short link goes straight to your clipboard which you can paste immediately if using Webcam Record for feedback.

But what about Screencast Recording?

So I went looking for something similar to Webcam Record and found Screencastify. Screencastify enables you to embed your webcam, annotate the screen with a pen tool, use a spotlight. It also integrates with Google Drive and automatically export to Youtube. The free version allows for 50 videos per month.

Other Alternatives

For browser based chrome extensions like Webcam Record and Screencastify, check out Hippo Video and Loom. Loom is a quick and easy screen recorder that you install into your web browser. You get 10 minute recordings free, and videos a stored to the loom website, under your account, which you can share and embed from like any other media site. You can download a copy of your video for uploading to your YouTube teaching channel account or other such method of distribution.

The Professional Tools are Camtasia or Captivate for which you will pay and they have the widest range of options. Camtasia can be ordered through GETIT. For a much lower price you can get a desktop version of Screencastomatic at a fraction of the price.


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