Loom for Education: Free for Schools

Loom for Education is a free premium tool for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, or educational institutions. It can be used for screencasting or video messaging and is an increasingly popular alternative to Screencastify or Screencast-o-matic. Loom is available as a desktop app, Chrome extension, and a mobile app for iPhone and iPad. Here’s why you might want to take a look at this great free screencasting tool.

The New and Improved Loom

Loom has recently rolled out a raft of new changes that are designed to set the foundations for future growth. This included new branding, new features, and new pricing plans. Loom Pro, which was free for schools during the early months of the pandemic, has been replaced by the new Loom for Education. This new program underlines their commitment to giving teachers the tools they need to help support student learning. You can see a list of features that are available in Loom for Education in the graphic below.

Why Use Loom for Education?

Loom does the little things well. During recording, your webcam appears as a circle in the corner of the screen. The circle can be one of three different sizes, and you can move it around the screen when it gets in the way of your content. If you prefer, you can replace the webcam video with your Google profile photo so that people can still put a face to your voice, or turn it off altogether.

The workspace libraries are also very interesting. New videos are saved in your Personal Library and are private by default. They are not viewable by others unless you share them. Your Shared Library is a space for private collaboration. If someone shares a video with you, it will be displayed in your Shared Library. Your Team Library provides a space to combine and collaborate videos from across your school or organization. Videos in your Team Library can be viewed and edited by anyone on your team, and folders are available to help organize videos in any of your libraries.

Screencasts you create with Loom can be shared with a link or downloaded as an MP4. You can also share them by email because Loom has a useful Gmail integration that lets you pick one of your pre-recorded screencasts from the compose window. Videos you share will have viewer statistics to help you see how many times your videos were watched and what the completion rate was like. Did your students watch all the way to the end of the video? Loom can help track that, and can include a call to action button to link your viewers to the next thing you want them to see.

If Chrome is not your browser of choice, the desktop apps for Mac or Windows are exactly what you need. They let you create videos in the same way that the Chrome extension does, and they include some bonus features like annotation, mouse click highlights, and screenshot captures.

Final Thoughts

For great looking screencasts that are quick and easy to share, not much beats Loom. It is a robust tool with the features you need to create engaging videos. Before I tried Loom, I used to recommend Screencastify to the teachers I worked with, but the new Loom for Education is just too good to overlook. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. There is a lot to like here.

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