How To Make iPad Screencasts on an iPad

Copy of new ipad schools

Recently, I had the need to create a screencast of an iPad app for a teacher I work with. Normally, I would just AirPlay my iPad to my Mac, and then record (and edit) my video with Camtasia. However, this time I felt like doing something different. I wanted to explore the options for doing this using an iPad, because I am increasingly of the opinion that there are very few things you can’t do with just an iPad any more. As it happens, there are a number of apps that will let you do this, so in this post I am going to demonstrate one of those apps, tell you about the process I used, and as suggest some others that you might want to take a look at if you decide to try this yourself. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Record Your iPad Screen

I have written about ways to record your iPad screen before. However, all of these solutions required an additional device like a Mac or a PC. This is because Apple has restrictions in place that prevent developers from creating an app that will record your iPad once you leave a specific app. Every now and again these apps will surface in the App Store, but they are quickly removed by Apple when they are discovered.

So, before I go in to the nuts and bolts of the method I used, I want to share the final video with you so that you can see what the end results were. This will also give you an idea of what is possible, and what is not. See below:

Creating App Tutorials on the iPad

Essentially, the video above is somewhat similar to a stop motion movie. It is little more than a collection of static images that includes a voiceover narration to help describe the process that is required. It was created using one of my favorite free iPad apps, IPEVO Whiteboard, and this is how I put it all together.

Step 1: I began by taking screenshots of every step that was needed to create a folder and upload media to from the iPad’s camera roll. This gave me about 16 images to work with. If you have never taken a screenshot before, here’s how to take a screenshot on your iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

Step 2: I opened the IPEVO Whiteboard app and added the images one by one to separate boards in the app. Unfortunately, there is no way to add multiple images at once, but I didn’t have all that many images, so this was not a very time consuming process.

Step 3: Final preparations. My images were loaded and ready to go, but I wanted to make it clear which areas of the screen I was asking people to tap on or to look at. So, I opened the toolbox in the IPEVO app and selected the cursor so that I could use it to show where I was tapping on the screen during my screencast.

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Step 4: Time to record. I started the recorder and talked through my slides, advancing to the next one when I was ready and using the cursor to indicate the areas of the screen that I was tapping on.

Step 5: When I was done recording, I pressed the stop button. The video is automatically saved to your Camera Roll where you can share it to other apps, or upload to YouTube.

What I learned…

  • This is a one-take deal. If you mess up, you have to record the whole thing again. There is no ability to re-record the audio for an individual slide with IPEVO, although you can pause between images if you want to.
  • A USB microphone would have really helped the audio quality.
  • Tapping on the iPad screen is clearly audible with the iPad’s built-in microphone, but an external microphone, (or some gentle taps), would help minimize or eliminate that noise.
  • IPEVO does not save projects, so if you leave it unfinished and don’t come back to it for a few hours, you will have to add all your images again! 🙁
  • You can zoom in on images before you record, but not during recording.
  • The simple addition of the cursor tool really adds to the overall effect and makes the final video look like less like a slideshow of screenshots.

Educational Uses

  • Flipped classroom tutorials
  • “Show what you know” videos from students
  • “Show what you know” videos from teachers!
  • Professional development resources for staff
  • Differentiated instruction videos 
  • Teacher videos that explain a concept of process
  • Explain a website

Other iOS Apps for iPad App Tutorials

This method is not an especially uncommon idea, but I think it is still an effective way to demonstrate an app or process that doesn’t require too much additional animation. Of course, IPEVO is not the only app capable of handling this kind of task. They include, but are not limited to:



5 thoughts on “How To Make iPad Screencasts on an iPad”

  1. Hi Jonathan
    Thanks heaps for your input – really gets one thinking about possibilities and uses.
    Could I add an option for the Explain Everything Classic users out there – there will be lots. If you use the add file option from the ‘Home Screen’ and then select Photos and then select all the photos you want to be part of your tutorial/presentation/movie and tap Done, all will appear on individual slides ready for your recorded commentary. This way you can use tools such as the laser pointer and record slide by slide. Once you have finished use Golden Play to preview your movie. If you use the Slide Sorter you can reorder to suit. Changes can be made to individual slides and then the final product exported as a movie.
    Keep the ideas flowing

    1. Yes, I linked to ExplainEverything (and some other apps) at the bottom of the article. I wanted to highlight a free option for teachers, but if you already have the app, then ExplainEverything is a great choice and has more options that make this easier.

  2. Thanks for this!!
    To get around the one-take limitation…YouTube has a nice (and fairly easy/intuitive) video editor. If you realize you’ve made a mistake must keep recording, make a second recording for the mistaken portion, and splice the two videos together in YouTube. Depending on the length of the tutorial this workaround may be easier than re-recording the whole thing.

    1. Yes, the YouTube Editor would be an option for that, but I with this experiment I was going for a 100% iPad option and the YouTube editor doesn’t work on the iPad, (it needs Flash) so you would have to do those kind of fixes on a Mac or PC. Something like ExplainEverything will allow you to rerecord the audio for individual slides, and some other apps will too, but for free, and for an iPad only option, IPEVO works well 🙂

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