Direct instruction tools for teaching during school closure

Direct instruction tools for teaching during school closure

It’s looking increasingly likely that schools may close for a period of time due to Coronavirus. It’s clear from my Twitter feed that a number of schools are already planning for this eventuality. If you find yourself working from home and developing resources to share online with your students, there are a number of useful tools available to support you with this. In this blog post I’ll share a couple of useful tools you can use to create videos for direct instruction.


Screencasting involves recording what is shown on your computer screen. Most screencasting apps also allow you to record yourself narrating using a microphone (most laptops have this built-in). Once exported, the video can then be uploaded to your online portal or Youtube/Vimeo and shared with your students.


Screencastify is a useful app for screencasting. It allows you to create screencasts up to 5 minutes long for free! You’ll need the Google Chrome browser with the Screencastify plugin installed. Head over to click the button that says Add to Chrome. Once you launch the plugin, there is a quick set up process to go through and you will need a Google account. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to save your screencasts directly to Google Drive.

Quicktime Player

Quicktime Player is a media player that also lets you create screencasts. Open the app on your computer then go to File > New Screen recording. Then, from the options menu, you can select your audio recording option if you want to talk over your video.

Presentation Software

Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote both allow you to record a narration. This is useful if you have presentations already created and you want to provide additional guidance/instruction to your students.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft has put together a useful guide for recording a slide show with narration. You can access it here. Additionally, you can insert a sound file containing your narration to each slide by going to Insert > Audio > Record Audio.

Apple Keynote

Apple Keynote allows you to record your presentation along with narration then export it to a video file. Open your Keynote then go to Play > Record Sideshow. Click the record button and talk away. When you have finished go to File > Export > Movie. Then upload your video file to your online repository.

iPad/iPhone Apps

There are a number of apps available to record yourself talking over a presentation. These include:

If you have any other suggestions please share them in the comments below!


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