Screencasting on a Chromebook

The number of Chromebooks in schools is increasing everyday, and for good reasons that I won’t go into here. I recently had the need to create a screencast of a Chromebook screen. (A screencast is a small video recording that explains what you are doing on a computer screen.) There are so many tools on both Windows and Mac OS’s to do just this, but I won’t go into those here either. What about the Chrome OS that Chromebooks use? Turns out there are a few options there too. 

One clever trick that I will briefly mention is to use “Google Hangouts OnAir” to share and record your screen. This did work for me, but since our district doesn’t allow hangouts to be used in our Google domain, I had to use my personal account. Not ideal if you wanted this to become a student project. The pro was that nothing needed to be installed. The con was that there are many steps to go through, you have to edit the beginning and end, and hangouts has to be allowed. 

Chrome OS uses Apps or Extensions to get these specialty items done. There are a couple for screencasting. The one that I found to be the easiest was “Snagit” by TechSmith. It is free and easy to install. You may need to talk to your Google domain administrator to make sure that it is available for teachers and/or students, depending on your needs. Let me list the pros & cons.


  • Quick & easy installation.
  • Easy to start and stop.
  • The video goes to your Google drive, to a folder called TechSmith. This makes it easy to get to your computer.
  • Editing can then be done using your favorite tool on Windows or Mac by downloading (some conversion necessary, see cons)
  • Editing can be done in YouTube, if allowed by your Google domain. Use the “Create” tool in your YouTube channel.


  • The video is in an AVI format, not all editors will be able to work with it. YouTube converts it easily enough, and then it wen right into iMovie for me. TechSmith makes Camtasia, which I have and it was able to edit the AVI nicely. 

Screencasting is a great tool to use if you want to flip your classroom. Maybe you have access to some great software on Windows or Mac, here are some great options if not, but if you want to try a strictly “Chrome OS” diet, Snagit should be one of your tools of choice. 

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