Monday, April 7, 2014

Thing 5: Screencasting

Welcome to Thing 5!

Screencasting is one of my favorite types of web tools because it can be used in so many ways: creating tutorial videos, digital storytelling, flipped classroom lectures, etc. Many types of screencasting tools exist, some paid and some free, but the one I've used the most is Screencast-o-Matic (the "Chrome Apps & Extensions" screencast embedded in the "Thing 2" post was made using Screencast-o-Matic). The free version of this tool allows you to record screencasts up to 15 minutes, which you can then upload to YouTube and/or save to your computer as a digital .mp4 file. The free version even allows you to film yourself via webcam as you narrate your screencast, an option that really brings Screencast-o-Matic into the realm of being a truly versatile tool. The paid version includes enhanced features such as editing tools, screenshots, webcam-only screencasts, and more, but I have been more than satisfied with the free version.

Here's a screencast I made to demonstrate the webcam narration:

There is an option to click "Start Recording" directly from Screecast-o-Matic's website. I had a problem with this, however, due to not having the correct Java plug-in, so instead I just downloaded the app directly from the website:

If you download the app and are on the Mac side of your computer, to access the app you will just open your Apps folder. If you are on the Windows side of your computer, you open it from "Programs." If you need help, just let me (or a tech integrator) know!

Here is an online tutorial that covers all aspects of getting started with, recording, and publishing Screencast-o-Matic videos:

To complete Thing 5:

  • Create an account at Screencast-o-Matic
  • Create a screencast about anything. Try using the webcam-inside-the-screencast feature.
  • Upload your screencast to YouTube (it will prompt you to enter your YouTube username, which is just your school email) and/or save it to your computer. You can change the YouTube settings to "Private" if you prefer, or just keep it "Public."
  • Add your screencast to your "Thing 5: Screencasting" post (a YouTube video is the easiest way to do this), and reflect on your experience. Did you find Screencast-o-Matic easy to use? Would you rather have more features, or is the free version enough? Do you think you'll use this in your professional work?

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