Add Audio to Google Slides with Screencastify

This is an excerpt from one of the chapters in my book entitled Interactive Stories with Google Slides. The book uses the concept of creating interactive stories to teach students a variety of skills in Google Slides. Using Screencastify to add audio to slides is just one of those skills you will learn in this book.

Add Audio to Google Slides with Screencastify

Adding audio to a slide is a good way to differentiate content for struggling readers and writers. It can be used for second language learners. Teachers that teach foreign languages can create slides that demonstrate language with sentences or vocabulary words. Students can record their voice and add it to slides when presenting in front of the class. This is especially useful for very shy students. Older students can create stories for younger students where elements of the story are read to them.

Adding audio to Google Slides is not actually currently possible. Slides do not play audio but they do play video. We will be using the audio from a video to simulate a voice-over audio recording.

There are several applications that can be used to create a video. Feel free to use one of those applications. I will be using a free application that works nicely with Chromebook and the Chrome browser on most computers. Apart from using this application the process to use video in the slide will be the same regardless of which application is used to create the video.

Install Screencastify

The Screencastify extension is available for the Chrome browser and Chromebook. Screencastify is designed to create screen recordings of content on a computer desktop or browser. The extension can be installed from the Google Chrome Store.

To get to the Chrome Store we can type “” in the Chrome address bar.

chrome web store address


We can also use the Chrome Browser Apps launcher to access the store.

google apps launcher icon


On a Chromebook click on the Launcher in the lower left corner and look for the web store icon.

Type “screencastify” in the Chrome Web Store search box and press the return key on the keyboard to search for the extension.

search for screencastify in chrome web store


The Screencastify extension should be the first one that appears on the results page.

screencastify preview in extensions section of chrome web store


Click the “Add to Chrome” button to install the extension.

add to chrome button in web store


A confirmation box will open. Click the “Add extension” button to begin the installation.

add screencastify extension confirmation dialogue


A message box below the installed extension will inform us that the extension has been installed. The extension looks like a film strip. Click the extension to begin the setup process.

screencastify installed message


An information page will open that provides options for saving video recordings. We are provided with the option to save the video onto our Google Drive account or onto our local computer. The recommendation on the page is to store the videos on Google Drive.

Configure Screencastify

I recommend storing recordings on Google Drive for a variety of reasons. Recorded videos are saved in an open source format called WebM. This is part of the open media project designed to make video web-friendly in a high-quality format for the Internet. This video cannot be edited with traditional software installed on Mac or Windows. Software to edit this video needs to be installed. This is typically Adobe software. Special software is also needed to view the video on Mac or Windows. The VLC Media player can be used on Mac or Windows to view WebM video. Videos take lots of storage and typical Chromebook computers do not have a lot of storage.

Storing videos in Google Drive makes it easy to quickly add them to Google Slides. The videos can be viewed online with the Screencastify extension and they can be shared with others.

choose screencastify storage location information page


Select the option to store the videos in Google Drive and click the “Next” button.

next button on information page


In the next step, we will be prompted to Log into your Google account.

sign in button


If you have multiple Google accounts you will be prompted to select an account. If you have only one account, then you will be prompted to enter the email address and password or just the password.

choose google account


A Screencastify page will open. The page provides information about the features available with the extension and pricing options for additional features.

screencastify pricing information page


The subscription option includes basic editing tools within the extension.

Recording web video

Return to the Google Slide tab and click the Screencastify extension again.

screencastify icon in extensions bar


A recording panel will open below the extension icon.

screencastify recording panel


Our goal is to record audio, so the displayed object of our recording doesn’t really matter much. It could be the desktop or a web page.

Keeping in mind that the video can be viewed by anyone with access to edit the slideshow. I recommend recording the slide that is related to the audio. I have the title slide of my presentation set for my first recording.

google slide main title page


Select the tab option to record content from the Chrome browser web page. Selecting the tab option will prevent the recording of extra content on the screen like the browser title bar, address bar, bottom bar or other tabs if they are visible.

screencastify record tab option


Before recording, check to make sure the microphone is working. The green meter should move up and down as the microphone detects sound.

screencastify recording audio level indicator for tab recording


If the microphone doesn’t appear to be picking up a sound, click the microphone selector to the right of the microphone icon and select the built-in microphone or an external microphone if one is connected to the computer. If you are using an external microphone, make sure it is turned on.

select built in microphone in screencastify recording panel


Click the “Setup Tab Recording” button at the bottom of the recording panel.

setup recording tab button


Screencastify will prompt us to give it permission to record content from the tab. Click the “Allow” button.

allow screencastify permission to read and change data on website


The Screencastify panel will close. Click the extension again to open the recording panel.

screencastify recording panel


Click the record button at the bottom of the panel.

screencastify recording tab


A three-second countdown timer will begin.

count down timer over main slide page


The contents of the webpage tab are now being recorded. A blue bar will appear on the tab that is being recorded.

blue recording bar indicator


A set of tools will appear at the bottom of the tab. Some of these tools can be used to annotate content on the page. These annotations will be recorded as part of the video. We won’t need to use these tools during this recording.

toolbar lower left corder or recording page


Click the “Present” button. Using presentation mode hides the slides on the left and other tools used for creating and editing slide content.

google slide present button


During presentation mode, the annotation tools will remain visible so we can use them if needed. Press the “ESC” key on the keyboard to exit presentation mode.

presentation and annotation tools during recording


The Screencastify icon changes to include a red recording dot. Click the Screencastify extension icon.

recording red dot over screencastify extension icon


Click the “End Recording” button.

pause and end recording options for screencastify


If you want to learn more about Screencastify please refer to my book on Screencastify, available on Amazon.

Posted in Google Slides, Screencastify.