ScreenChomp from TechSmith Corporation is an easy-to-use screencast app for the iPad that allows a parish leader, teacher or catechist to create a lesson plan, a set of directions, a learning module or more, as a simple video which can then be shared on a Facebook page or emailed as a link. The interface is actually a recordable whiteboard, with an option for background. Once video is created, students or parents can then view it on ScreenChomp.com. The instructional video on the TechSmith site even suggests this can be used by students themselves to share homework help, so that opens possibilities for collaboration.
Great features include the ability to draw while you are recording your verbal instructions, using a variety of colors and widths of marker, to erase, to set a picture background which can be drawn on. You can scroll the background, and even to push the picture off the screen so that the blank whiteboard surface appears – then scroll it back. Simple one-touch controls and user-friendly drawing tools make this a great option. The ability to connect with DropBox means you can add backgrounds from another source, or even attach a PDF.
Here is the Quick Demo video from YouTube:
From the time I started on my first project to when it was completed and ready to share in under an hour, I found this app really easy and fun to use. I was easily able to add a background picture I already had on my laptop through the DropBox connection and then record voice instructions for a lesson plan. After I emailed my link, I was even able to download the video to my laptop and later to post it on YouTube. (You can see it here)
ScreenChomp is pretty simple and has lots of potential. Think what this might do as a way to send parents a prayer resource or activity, or a method for the catechist to keep in contact by sharing what is being done in the faith formation sessions. You could even put in a background, play some recorded music underneath as you narrate a prayer meditation that catechists could use in class, or that you could share via your social network. (That might just be my next project.)
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