30 days of webtools: #20 Use Screencast-o-matic to make superb screencasts

Screencasting is an amazing programme to use if you want to quickly show someone how to do something on the computer. It easily creates a video of what you are doing and saying. These are called screencasts. If you want to create good screencasts without the hassle of downloading and installing any application on your computer then Screencast-O-Matic is the best available tool for the purpose.



Other screencasting applications



I started off using Jing, until I discovered ScreenR. I have written a blogpost on the Schoolnet blog about ScreenR https://www.schoolnet.org.za/2011/10/screencasting-with-screenr-is-so-easy.html. These two programmes allow up to 5 minutes of recording. THEN I discovered Screencastomatic that allows 15 minutes and it is so easy to use. So it is my firm favourite right now.



What exactly is Screencast-o-matic?

Screencast-O-Matic is an online screen recorder that enables you to record and share your screencast with others. You don’t need to install anything as it all happens online. It is cross-browser as well. All you need to make sure about it having Java installed which usually happens automatically these days. You can make sure that you have recommended version of Java installed for your operating system from the Java verification page before you start.



How to record with Screencastomatic in three easy steps



1. Open Screencast-o-matic and start recording


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You don’t even need to sign in, but you might get more benefits by signing in. Everything is free. Press ‘Start recording’.



2. Position your recording box

You’ll see that a box outline of dotted lines comes up. This is the control panel of your screencast where you can specify the size of your recording and the microphone volume before you start recording. You can also turn on your webcam to record yourself talking if you wish!   Position this box to the size you want to use.


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Once you are happy click the red recording button found on the left bottom corner to get started with your recording. You can press pause when you need to stop and think, and then resume again. Fantastic, right? (By the way you can navigate to another site and you’ll see the box appears there in case that is the site you want to record).



3. Click done and export your video



When you are finished, click the done button and export the video. You can now upload the video to YouTube if you want to. (This might work better if you are logged in – it has always worked for me. You can also embed it in a blog or wiki, and you can just publish it to Screencast-o-matic to use whenever you wish. From this step on you’ll see all sorts of great options.

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A video tutorial from YouTube

I found this tutorial on YouTube which seems to explain ow to use Screencast-o-matic very well.  I think she probably used Screencast-o-matic to make the video.

Uses in the classroom


1.   
You can make
quick videos about anything really. The visual cursor highlights make it easier
for your students to follow the video.

2.   You can
simply upload the file on YouTube and share the link with your students. This
is great if someone is ill at home and you want them to know what is what!

3.   You can record lessons, provide demonstrations, present information to an online
class, tell digital stories, and give feedback on student assignments.

4.   You can also create assignments that require students to produce a screencast. Because of its ease of use, Screencast-o-matic
requires little or no training to get started.

5.   You can use
captions with Screencast-o-matic (haven’t tried it but want to!)


Perhaps you can add ideas to these uses?

My verdict


A fabulous tool,
don’t you agree? Try it!



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