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#AppventCalendar Day Thirteen – OBS Studio by @RonanMcNicholl @global_edtech

By December 13, 2020No Comments

Welcome to Day Thirteen of the 2020 Appvent Calendar!

As has been a consistent theme on the calendar with tools that have been super helpful during the last twelve months, today’s offering behind door number thirteen is the popular, open-source software package that has been used to host quizzes, assemblies and more…. hear about it now from ADE and Global Edtech co-founder, Ronan Mc Nicholl

In this article, I would like to introduce you to Open Broadcaster Software or OBS Studio as it is popularly known. 

This was my go-to app for creating pre-recorded videos throughout lockdown.  As an ICT/CS teacher, I realised quickly that I needed something that would allow the recording of my screen whilst talking through the applications and tasks that I wanted students to complete.  I also needed something that would allow teachers to view on-demand training videos.  

After some research, I realised that OBS Studio would tick all the boxes as I could use it on both my MacBook and Windows laptop, and I could also include a video of myself talking through each task.  OBS Studio is also free and is licensed as open-source software.  

By using a screencasting  approach, I wanted to be able to show the skills and tools that I was using and I also hoped my students would enjoy seeing a familiar face walk them through the activity.  It also made the process of communicating more natural and engaging rather than simply providing a text-based document with image screenshots.  The picture above is from a video I created for my Year 1 students when they were creating African art using Purple Mash.  

Downloading the app was easy.  From the homepage I simply selected the operating system I needed it for and installed it.  Upon opening the program the interface was a little daunting, but like any app, you only need to work out what is necessary to accomplish the task that you are trying to achieve.

In this case I needed to add the sources required for the project.  I chose Display Capture and Video Capture Device.  Having the Video Capture device on top ensured that the webcam recording was on top of the screen recording.  I was then able to resize the webcam recording and position it in the bottom right corner of the screen.  In some videos I positioned it elsewhere, it really depended on what I was showing.  

Once you have selected start recording you can then demonstrate and talk through what you want students to learn with the webcam recording of yourself as an overlay.  When you are finished simply select stop recording.  The video is then available for sharing online. 

And that’s it!  That’s how easy it is to make a relatively professional screen recording which you could then share with students, teachers or parents. 

It is worth mentioning that this very same software is popular in the gaming community.  As well as recording gaming walkthroughs, it is often used for live streaming.  It really is a powerful professional piece of software which is available entirely for free. 

Most schools have now switched to live teaching rather than relying on pre-recorded videos, however, this app really helped during that interim period.  

Despite live lessons being the preferred option for most schools, I think screencasting has a place in everyday teaching.  For example, video explanations could be recorded for students to view in their own time outside of school.  It’s a great tool for promoting flipped learning and can be incorporated in blended learning.  

It really is a powerful professional piece of software which is available entirely for free. 

To download the app simply follow the link below:


Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.

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