Loom is a simple screencasting tool ideal for teachers, but also great for anyone who needs it. In this video, I show you how to use Loom.
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Create How-To’s and Instructional Videos:
Screencasting Tutorial on How to Use Loom
- We've got a great video lined up for you today. I'm gonna show you how to create a style of video that's called screen casting. How to create your own videos. Now, screen casting is what we do here on this channel. I'm gonna show you a simpler tool than the one that I use to create these videos, but the same principles apply. Now the genesis of this video, why I decided to create this video originally was to help support all of the teachers who are now working from home and having to create lessons for their students. And I wanna show them the easiest way they can create lessons that they can share with their students. But the lessons that we're gonna learn, what we're gonna learn here as I teach it to you is valuable to everybody who has to create any sort of instructional video or tutorial video. It's screencasting using a tool called Loom today on DottoTech. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doin this fine day? And as I mentioned, today we're gonna take a look at a tool that's designed to create screencasting videos. Screencasting is the exact type of video that we are showing you here that you are watching right now on our channel. It's how we build all of our videos. Now, screencasting tools can be very simple and very inexpensive, even free all the way through to some more elaborate ones that give you all sorts of bells and whistles, the tool that, for example, we're using to record this video right now. Now I will have links to the tools that we use, as well as some videos that we've created that show you how we create our videos here on the DottoTech channel. But so many teachers and educators, so many of us who are now working from home need to create simple instructional videos. Simple tutorials, and we don't necessarily need all of the bells and whistles that we use on this channel. There are some great tools that work from a very simple level, even free tools. We're gonna show you Loom today, which is, I think, a great starting point for educators and anybody who has to create simple tutorial videos. Let's jump into it. Now Loom, if you visit their website, there will be links below, it's at loom.com. If you walk through what they offer, they basically say it really simply. They say it with video. Create simple videos. So they will allow us to meld, bring together three different aspects. What happens on our screen, that's one asset. Our video, that's asset number two. And our audio is asset number three. What Loom does is it pulls all of those different assets together and allows us to create a simple video file from those assets. That's all that screencasting really is. It's recording a video that uses the computer screen as one of the characters in your little movie. So you can sign up for free. Now I should talk to you briefly about the pricing. The pricing that they've got right now, because we're in the middle of the COVID epidemic, they've got some special pricing which includes something really nice. It's free for teachers and students, the pro version. The pro version is normally eight dollars a month. They've got it on special right now for four, unless you're a teacher or a student, then it's free, which I think is just awesome. But you can try out the free version regardless, and get a lot of the benefits out of using Loom without ever buying a subscription, but at four or eight dollars a month, even if you're paying full price, it's still a pretty good bargain for what you get. So let's jump into it and take a look at what the tool is. Now when I say Loom is a simple tool, I mean it is a dead simple tool. It installs as a browser plugin or as an app, but we're gonna start with the browser plugin right now. When I click on the browser plugin, that's how I invoke Zoom and get it to start. Clicking on it here, you see it pops out and we see the basic controls over Zoom listed right here. And you see that we can record the screen and cam, the screen only if you just wanted to record the screen itself, or the camera only, you can use it for just recording a straight up video of your voice and your face. Now, when you're in the browser, it is determining that you're probably gonna wanna just record what's happening in the browser window, so you can choose to record the full desktop from here so you'll see all of the edges, or you can just choose to record what's happening in the current tab, which is whatever the current tab is that you have open that you might wanna be showcasing some content within. Now, I always recommend that you click here on the show advanced options because there's probably gonna be some settings that you might be a little bit confused about and it might not be set up perfectly right out of the gate. For example, if you have multiple cameras installed in your computer, I've got a webcam as well as a built-in camera. You can select the correct camera from here. If I wanna go back to my old display eyesight which is a crummy old camera here, I can switch cameras or I can switch back to the Logitech Brio. Similarly, if you have multiple microphones installed or multiple audio sources, you can select those from the pop-up list here to make sure that you're gonna be recording the correct source for whatever it is you're going to be recording. Now additionally, as far as the video is concerned, they've got this kind of stock little circle that your video appears in, and you can choose a size. They give you a small one, wee little one, medium, or bigger one depending on how much room you want your head to take up as you are doing your talking. I think the medium one works just great. And then next to it, you also have video controls that kind of give you quick access to the video controls, and you can hide that menu by clicking on the little expansion menu, or open it. So that's the basic set up. That's all you really have to worry about to get set up. And then once you're ready to record, you just click here on start recording, and it will begin to record whatever it is you're showing on the screen. So if you are, you're gonna count down so you feel like you're a big time TV star, three, two, one, and now we are talking away. Can I move it? Yeah, you can actually move your video around the screen if you need to as you're recording, but right now, it's busy recording away. And as I can be talking my way through everything that's happening on this website, I can be pointing to things, I can be pulling up dropdown menus, allowing people to look at different menus, I've got control over the entire screen and I can record exactly what it is that I want to share. When I'm finished, I just click back on the same Loom icon and it stops the recording, brings us into Loom's cloud services. This is where all of our video is hosted. Now, Loom, as well as recording our videos is also a hosting service; it's gonna take our video, it's gonna host it online for us, much like YouTube or another video hosting service, and as you see here, it will allow us to take the video that we've created and share a link with others through the hosted service. That's really what Loom is all about; it's about sharing videos. So if you have a student that you're sending an instructional video to that you've created, you can give them this link and they'll be able to open and watch the video on their computer. Now you can watch it play back here, and now we're talking away. Can I move it? Yeah, you can actually move your video around the screen if you need to. So you see we've just created a very simple video. Now what we don't have here is advanced editing options. About all the editing we can do is down here on the bottom. We can trim it, the top and tail, we can add what's called a call to action so we can actually put a link in it if we want people to be able to click on links, so to say to go to this website, you can put in the website location and you can create a button in the video for them to click on for more information or something along that line. And you can also add a custom thumbnail to it, which is what we see, for example, on YouTube on all of our videos we have custom thumbnails. You can put a custom thumbnail that makes your video look, kinda gives it a nice placeholder, so people realize what's inside the video, it's a nice little touch. But you can't do real video editing. You can't go in and you can't edit the timeline, you can't trim out content, you can't add more graphics. The video that you create live as you create it is the video that you're going to use. As I said, this is a simple simple tool. But if you're a teacher and you're gonna create a series of math lessons, this is great 'cause you can name each lesson, you can keep them all in Loom, and you can share those lessons with your students when they need them. And they can go back and watch them over and over again in order to, if they need a concept to be reinforced. So really really flexible and really just really useful from that perspective. That's using Loom as a browser plugin. It's a little more flexible when we start looking at using it as the application itself, when we look at the downloaded app. And I'm gonna show you that, how I'm gonna show you that is some of the additional features that are in it because it does more than just the simple, than the simple screen recording that happens in the browser window as the browser plugin. When I open Loom on my desktop, I still have a very small menu to choose from with the same options; choosing which camera, which audio source you're gonna use, but they've added a couple of other features here before you ever start recording. One of them is custom size. I love this idea for us. Custom size means you can choose just exactly what area of your screen you are going to record. So imagine this, imagine you've got a slideshow ready to go like this. Let's say that I wanna share this slideshow with my students. Now I don't necessarily wanna share my whole screen with them. I may be getting notifications up, or maybe there's email coming in and I don't want them to see everything that's happening on my computer, and I just wanna share this slideshow area. Watch what we can do. I like this. I'm gonna say custom size, select area. I just mark the area that I want to record, highlight that, and now it's ready to start recording when I click on the start recording. And a couple things happen here with the desktop version. When I click on start recording, we'll get the countdown like we got before, three, two, one, you are live on air with Steve Dotto. There it is, now we're recording. So all that's being recorded is this area here. Anything that happens outside of this area in my computer screen doesn't get recorded, doesn't get added to the recording. So I can create a nice, polished, and professional presentation if I was, say, using a slideshow. And if I wanna advance through my slides, I can change my slides here as we go so that I can add all of my different, so you can add as much value to that content as you want. But here's something else that's very cool about this part of Zoom. If I move my mouse over top of this little red stop button, and actually what this button will do is it will stop our video from recording. This is how we start and stop the video. I can pause the recording, or look at this, I've got a little pen tool here. This allows me to bring up an annotation tool where I can choose a color, I can choose a pen size, and I can mark what's happening. I can point to things on the screen as I'm working my way through. Now in a slideshow, you're not gonna use this too often. But if I was showing people, say, a webpage, if I was using this to record the webpage instead of the way I did it before, I can be pointing to different things that they have to click on and giving them instructions using this annotation tool which is live and it's all being recorded into the video. I like that a lot. Once we're done with the process, we click on the stop button and everything else is the same at this point here. It's now gonna take that video, and depending on how long the video is, it's gonna encode it, it's gonna store it in the cloud for us, we've got a link here that we can share with that video, we can invite people to view it, we can add some security by adding a password to it. We can do the same simple basic video editing such as trimming it, adding a call to action, but at the end, there is this video. So all that's being recorded is this area here. outside of this area in my computer screen doesn't get-- I'm a big fan of teachers being able to record their lessons. Heck, of anybody being able to record any sort of simple tutorial or any sort of simple explainer video. And the easier it is for us to create those videos, the more that the technology gets out of the way, and allows the presenter to explain their concept, that's really the essence of what great screencasting, and what great online video is all about. The tool can be really simple. It's up to the skill of the presenter to educate you on how it all works. I think that all of your eyes should be open now to some new opportunities and new ways of doing things with a tool that is as simple as Loom. I'm a big fan. Now before we wrap things up, I've got a few favors to ask. First of all, if you have any comments or questions, please post them in the comments below. I read each and every one, even if I don't have time to reply to all of them. But I have an additional favor to ask. If you are creating your own tutorial videos, share them with me. Let me have a look at the sorts of videos that you are creating. I would love to see what you are working on. Now, another favor to ask is if you know of a teacher, if you know of anybody who needs to create tutorial videos, well, share this video with them, and while you're at it, giving us a thumbs up would always be appreciated as well. And finally, if you're not yet subscribed to DottoTech, what the heck are you waiting for? Click that subscribe button, ring that notification bell, and I will see you next time right here for more DottoTech. Til then, I'm Steve Dotto, a fun storm in a castle.
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