Will iOS 11 Screen Recording Help Education?

Instructure
Instructure
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I have to admit - I am a bit of an Apple junkie/fanboy. In a past life, I was lead on mobile initiatives for a private university of 9,000 students, so I had test devices where I would install beta builds as they became available after Apple's annual Developer's Conference. My current role doesn't have me focusing on mobile quite as heavy, but it still drives me - so I installed a public release of iOS 11 beta. (Go to Apple's Beta Program to sign up for their iOS, MacOS, and tvOS publicly available beta programs.)

After installing iOS 11 on my personal device, I started tinkering with the new features, trying to break things and hoping to get myself into some trouble. Instead - I found an icon in the newly revamped Control Center.

After clicking on it, it asked if I wanted to start recording my screen, and I have to admit I was a bit giddy. Although there are some solutions out there that enable you to record your iOS device on your computer, I have never truly been satisfied with some of the outcomes (please, if I'm missing something out there, tell me!). 

At first, my hope was that this was going to enhance mobile training and tutorials. However, after my first video, I can tell you that it will most likely create more work for you after the recording. 

I haven't tested this with audio, so I can't verify how well it records your voice, but according to 9to5Mac.com, you can use your microphone, but not the audio from the application. But I can say it does not record where you are tapping in any sort of manner - so you will need to be mindful of that and slow down your steps while recording, and then add some sort of visual cue in an editing software. Also, it records from the very beginning to the very end. What I mean by that is you get from the Control Center being open - to the "Stop Recording" window still showing. In my opinion these should be removed for a more professional look. Oh, and don't get me started with that blue bar at the top of the screen letting you know you are recording! It's pretty hideous. Just take a look at a very simple sample video I made where I take a picture I edited in VSCO, then I show you the difference between the original and the edits in Photos, then I upload to Instagram. 

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(view in My Videos)

So, what do you think? Is this a viable option for training or tutorials in a pinch? Or is it better suited for remote support of our users? Take a look at the 9to5Mac article I linked above that talks about this feature. It not only talks about this update, but also how to enable this feature and possible uses.

(And Android users - is this something you already have and Apple is playing catch up? Or is this something completely new? OR...is there already an app for that on both platforms that I'm not aware of?!?)

5 Comments
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Super cool!  [There are separate apps available on Android devices but nothing natively installed]

I think it will have a great use for training and tutorials.  And even for reporting bugs and issues.  I can see some copyright issues for licensed streamed content and even course content (i.e. that Canvas quiz).  

Instructure
Instructure

Thanks for letting me know about the Androidness, kschneider25@alamo.edu‌! I really appreciate it. And honestly, there might be some iOS apps out there that I'm missing out on!

Great points about copyright/licensing issues. To take your point a step further... as https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas/quizzesnext?sr=search&searchId=52c7db1d-443f-4315-99...‌ (Or Quizzes 2.0 or whatever it's called) comes to fruition and it's easier to assess students on mobile devices, what's going to stop a student from recording himself/herself taking the assessment so he/she could sell the video so others can see the questions more easily? Other than a third party tool like Respondus LDB, how do you stop that? Can Canvas stop that? Would they want to be in that game?

Community Coach
Community Coach

I was also very excited about this when I first saw it. I installed iOS 11 on day one of the dev betas. All the things that bothered you, also bother me. I think it's going to be great for quick and dirty support videos or quickly showing something personally. For anything more official, I would still use the QuickTime/Mac method. It's much cleaner and leaves a better path towards editing. 

Android does have software, but it requires some workarounds, so I use a free Mac app called "Android Tool" - found at: GitHub - mortenjust/androidtool-mac: One-click screenshots, video recordings, app installation for i... 

As for iOS, it isn't possible for a third party to make software like this for the whole OS. They way apps are sandboxed; it's just not possible without private APIs. 

You do bring up a good point about capturing quizzes on mobile devices though, but this is possible right now on a desktop, so I think it's a minor concern. From my research, most students still don't trust or feel comfortable doing quizzes on a mobile device, unless they are in a pinch, so I doubt even the new Quiz tool will change that much. As for Canvas, I guess it might be possible for them to block this? 

Good post. It's something to consider keeping in mind! 

Instructure
Instructure

Thanks for the insight, Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu‌. It's great to know the ins and outs of everything - especially the limitations of a third party iOS developer to create something like this.

Unfortunately, the QuickTime/Mac method isn't always readily available for all of us. I have my personal mac laptop at home that I use on occasion for work, but I'm on a Windows machine while I'm on the clock. Sometimes the ability to quickly (and in this case very dirty) do something is key (which your post agrees with). I just have to wonder what Apple's thought process was in adding this.

And yes - you can record quizzes on a desktop, but there are applications to block that. Well...an application. And Respondus does have an iPad app, but not an iPhone app. Here in the office we tested recording Netflix with the iOS screen capture (I promise it was for testing purposes - nothing illegal!!!) - and it simply records a black screen. So, theoretically I would think Apple has already put out some sort of code/API/call/magic for an app to recognize when the capture is in use. But, if they haven't, the developers should demand it!

Community Coach
Community Coach

kenneth.rogers@instructure.com

I totally agree that the QuickTime/Mac method isn't available to everyone, though when it comes to an iDevice, Apple probably doesn't care. (: 

I am also curious why they added this feature. I know they want more video in their app store, but this doesn't seem like the tool to get it done. I'm curious if this feature gets refined over time, or even gets an app component to adjust settings. Right now it seems like a hack day project. 

As for the Netflix example, Apple has done this on the Mac for a while, and I guess makes sense on iOS as well. I guess they don't want to get in trouble with copyright. It would be interesting if Apple gives app developers the ability to prevent their apps from being recorded, or just specific aspects of it. This is something to keep an eye on. 

About the Author
I have spent my entire professional career in distance learning at UCF, which has spanned 15 years. Within this time I have held different positions which include support, software development, video/audio production, and now instructional design and mobile product manager. Technology plays a very important role in education. I feel we are only starting to realize the power of mobility and integration which will take us to the next level of learning. Using technology to build communities while facilitating immersive experiences is key to the next generation.