Making Your Own Instructional Videos

What is it?

Our digital natives already learn by watching. Use this behavior to teach by creating screencasts of your lessons.


Ideas for using screencasts:

  • Flip your classroom
  • Flip your lesson
  • Clone yourself (play the recorded lesson while you circulate amongst the students, pausing as needed). Also a great way to save your voice.
  • Directions (record it one time, individual students can play it as needed to remind them)
  • Post on your website (strategies, concepts, great for parents helping their children at home to be on the same page)
  • Blended classes
  • Pre-planned absences
  • and more!

How does it work?

Follow this tutorial and create your own screencast, step-by-step. We will use Quicktime Player found in your Applications folder. If you want, drag the icon to your dock for quick access. (Your video needs to be a minimum of 2 minutes.)

Find a lesson you want to record. Try recording your flipcharts or presentations for students who are absent so they get the in-class experience. Open the program your lesson is created in and prepare. If you are not using a presentation, be sure to write a script. You will be more comfortable knowing what you will say when you hit the button to record.

Flipchart and desktop recording options

Here is a review flipchart in ActivInspire. Next, open Quicktime (either from your dock or from your Applications folder). Quicktime will overlay your program as shown below. Click file to activate the dropdown menu and select New Screen Recording. (New Movie Recording will use your laptop's camera to record your face instead of the screen and New Audio Recording records only audio,

Screen recording

Then the Screen Recording Window will appear. The bar below "Screen Recording" should move, measuring the noise or speech. This tells you the microphone is on and receiving your voice.


Screen recording options

Click the down arrow next to the red button to make sure your built-in microphone is chosen. You can also choose to show mouse clicks in the recording in this window if you wish.

Desktop reminder of where to click on screen

It's time to click the red button to record. You will see this message where you choose to record the full screen or only a portion of the screen. I usually record the entire screen.

Once you click or drag to record, the recording it live. Don't worry, you can trim the beginning where you arrange or open a program or change a slide. Or you can end the recording at any time by clicking the stop button (shown below).

Recording icon on top of dock
Desktop screen when finished recording

Record your lesson or video. When finished, click the stop button (shown above in red). Quicktime will immediately open the video window, which most likely looks exactly like the one it's on top of (below).

How to trim video

You will want to view your video and trim the beginning and end if you choose to save it. Or you can delete it and start over. This is normal. Once you get used to recording, it may be just one or two "takes" to get it right.


To trim, click Edit, and from the drop down menu, choose Trim.


You will see a display of the video in clips appear with yellow tabs at the ends. You can drag the tabs to your new start and end points to remove unwanted clips.

Trimming of video
Exporting video

It's time to save your video. You have the option of "Save" which will produce an .mov file, playable on all Macs. Or you can choose to export to files specialized by its use.

Where to save exported video

Save it and share your video with your students and/or staff. Congratulations! You did it!

Earn PD points

Upload your video to Google Drive and name it following this naming convention: SC-firstinitiallastname-school-subjectgrade. (Ex: SC-zbrown-burbank-first). Set the share settings as "Anyone at Hampton City Schools with the link." Complete the Form below and paste your shared link for documentation.

(This course is worth 5 points.)