How to Create Instructional Videos with QuickTime

This video walks you through the process of using QuickTime on a Mac to quickly and easily record video captures. QuickTime is a free resource available for both Mac and Windows. It has a video capture capability that makes it simple to capture your computer screen.

The example shown is from Desmos. In the video we walk you through creating a simple video tutorial using the Desmos graphing calculator.

Here is the transcript for the video:

How to Create Instructional Videos with QuickTime

As a math educator, you’ll sometimes need to demonstrate a concept on video, but finding the right video can be a challenge. You may find that creating your own video is the way to go. In this video I am going to show you how to use QuickTime with the Desmos graphing calculator to quickly create instructional videos.

You can watch this video in one of two ways:

  1. Watch it from start to finish to get the basic information.
  2. Follow along on your computer and use this video as a tutorial.

If you’re doing the second or if you’re ready to start creating your video, this is what you need:

  1. QuickTime, which should already be installed on your computer. If not, go to and download it. It’s free. I will be showing you how to use QuickTime on the Mac.
  2. Access to the Desmos graphing calculator. It’s also free and you can find it at

Let’s start by showing you how to record videos using QuickTime. There are two ways to do this.

From the File menu, you’ll see three options:

  • New Movie Recording
  • New Audio Recording
  • New Screen Recording

The first option is if you want to record yourself on camera. The second is just for recording audio. The third option and the one I’ll be focusing on is doing a Screen recording.

The screen recording option can also include audio.

So let’s start recording.

First, launch Desmos. If you have a Desmos account, log-in, but for this demo we’ll record without a log-in.

This is what Desmos looks like. Resize your browser window so that it takes about half the size of the screen.

For this demo I will be graphing a linear function in slope-intercept form with two sliders. 

Now, launch QuickTime. You’ll see a Finder window come up. Click the Cancel button.

From the File menu select New Screen Recording.

You’ll see options at the bottom, where you can capture the entire screen or resize it to a specific size. Choose the option that says Record a Selected Portion. You’ll see a window, which is resizable, for determining the size of the video window you want to record. Resize it so that it captures the Desmos window, but nothing else.

The goal here is to create a video that’s usable without additional editing. In a separate blog post I’ll go over post-production editing of videos. 

If you’re recording audio, under Options select the microphone. When you’re ready, press Record. 

The recording starts immediately. Here is the video I captured that shows how to input y = mx + b and how to set two sliders for m and b. I can animated the sliders to create an animated graph. 

While you’re recording this video, if you’re also recording audio, make sure to provide audio directions for your students. 

When you’re done recording, click this icon on the menu bar at the top. This stops the recording and you’ll see the video capture in a QuickTime window. 

Be sure to save this video to your local drive. And voila you’re done.

This technique allows you to create simple video grabs, with or without audio, that can enhance your lessons with just the right content you’re looking for.

If you find this technique useful, let us know in the comments how you used it to create your own videos. To see more digital math resources, come to And please subscribe to our YouTube channel.