Making (Not Showing!) Movies to Finish the Year

The end of the year at our career-tech high school is filled with field trips, testing, and home-school events–all things that take students out of your classroom. One day I was missing 17 of 18 students in one period. I use Google Docs as a way to distribute and collect assignments. We are in our first year of using Canvas as our LMS, and many teachers use that to handle the mass absences. I asked teachers how they handle the absences and discovered many teachers use videos–screencasts and presentations. Here’s a summary of some of the tech people are using to handle the end-of-the-year absences.


  • No, not showing movies—making them. Several teachers with MacBooks use Quicktime to record a screencast of their lesson. Here’s a link to the basics.
  • The next step is to get the video to the students. You can attach it to an assignment in Canvas. You can also add it to YouTube and give the students the link.
  • There are also two services, Playposit (formerly EduCanon) and Edpuzzle,  that allow you to embed questions into a video to ensure the students watch the video and engage with it. Both of the sites have good tutorials to help you get started.


  • Nearpod is an interactive presentation several teachers use, but we are not able to assign it to individual (absent) students with the free version.
  • You can share a presentation through Google Slides. This works well on laptops and iPads.
  • Convert a PowerPoint to  video and share it using the video techniques above. PowerPoint has a “record slideshow” option, or you could just start a Quicktime recording and play the PowerPoint (and this second way should also work for a NearPod). You can add your own narration as the PowerPoint plays.


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