Coffee Break Summary Part 2: Screencasting, Tech Resources, Final Thoughts

Happy Friday Everyone!

This is the second of a two-part summary about the July 28th coffee break we held with the Teaching and Learning community.  The coffee breaks were wide-ranging informal discussions about how we have done distance learning during the pandemic.  Please find the first summary HERE.  Teaching and Learning moderator Susan Finn Miller posted her summary of the coffee break HERE where she discusses tech tips, helping students gain technology access, and ongoing needs still to be met. 


Remote learning has created a need for screencasts.  A screencast is a digital recording of a computer screen with audio narration.  Instructors can record screencasts for their students to view anytime.  Minnesota professional developer Kristine Kelly suggested a number of resources that can help instructors create screencasts: 

  • Screencastify – This is a Google Chrome web browser extension that allows users to record, edit, and share videos.   
  • Loom – Allows screen capture, voice, and video “in less time than it would take to type an email.”

Steve’s Note Part 1: When I need to create a video or do a screencast, I use Zoom.  Zoom allows one to share their screen and provide narration.  It also has whiteboard capability.  When I finish a video, I download it to YouTube and create a link for my students.  Click HERE to find instructions for creating screencasts with Zoom and HERE for how to upload them to YouTube.   

Other Resources

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) asks us to assist our learners in developing their digital literacy skills so they can find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate information.  Coffee Break participants mentioned several resources that will help our students do this.

  • Mary Palmer Legare discussed that she uses “plain old Google Docs.
  • Speaking of Google, Kristine Kelly mentioned that she uses Pear Deck for Google Slides, a Google slides add on that allows for interactive questions and assessments.
  • She also uses Google Sites, an easy website creation tool.  Steve’s Note Part 2: Click HERE to see a sample Google Site I created in about an hour for the recent writing discussion with Dr. Mary Ann Corley
  • Bobbi S (sorry, no last name known) contributed Control Alt Achieve, a resource from an Ohio educator related to all things tech.
  • Audrey Ives mentioned Tomato Timer, an app that sets a 25-minute timer.  Working in 25-minute segments instead of setting product goals allows one to be more productive.  Read more about this technique HERE.  Steve’s Note Part 3: I am so much more productive when I work in 25-minute sessions!  It has also helped me beat procrastination.  Before, I put the pro in procrastination!    

Concluding Thoughts

Are you interested in seeing the discussions from other coffee breaks?  Please click on the links to find summaries of the English Language Acquisition and Integrating Technology coffee breaks.

Over the past month, I had the privilege of participating in four coffee breaks spanning five different LINCS communities.  This experience confirms my thoughts that adult educators are some of the most caring people on the planet.  We want to help each other, and we work hard and take risks to make a difference in our learners’ lives.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  This has been so true of our experience with remote learning during the pandemic.  With little warning, we were thrust into a challenging new world of Zoom, What’s App, and Google Classroom.  We worked hard to ensure our students could still learn despite their limited technology access and capabilities. 

Do you have other distance learning resources to share or comments to make but missed the coffee break?  Please feel free to share them now.  Take 5 minutes, write a few sentences, and let’s continue to help each other out!  Thanks in advance for your help. 

Have a wonderful weekend!


Steve Schmidt

Moderator, LINCS Reading and Writing CoP