Ever noticed that you’re demonstrating the same process on the computer time and time again to different students? Perhaps they weren’t paying attention at induction, or it’s just something you don’t have time to cover at the start of term? Well then screencasting could be the thing for you.
Screencasting is the process of recording your actions on your computer as a video (with or without sound), which can then be shared with other people on your website/via YouTube etc. So it is perfect for making short demo videos for students, but has potential as an application beyond that too.
There are a number of screencasting tools available online, both free and for purchase. If your place of work already subscribes to Adobe Captivate then it is a fantastic tool to use, but it will otherwise cost a fair bit to purchase. I’m also aware that it can be difficult to download programmes onto work machines, so I have chosen to use Screencast-o-matic http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ . Please note that you will need Java installed - sorry, I can’t find a good product that doesn’t require it.
Screencast-o-matic is quite simple and intuitive as these things go. First things first, go to http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ .
There’s no need to create an account to record a screencast, but you might want to consider it if you want to store the videos on Screencast-o-matic. You can also watch a demo that takes you through how to do a recording, but the best thing may just be to dive in and press ‘Start recording’ on the top right.
A frame will appear on your screen, with some brief instructions. Frame the screen as you wish, and change the other options at the bottom of the frame as desired. Then press the red record button and go! Be aware, if your computer has a microphone it will be recording even if you don’t have anything to say. Avoid background noise like radios too. One more tip – go much slower than you would usually! Demonstrations done at normal speed are far too fast!
Screencast-o-matic will record up to 15 minutes of footage. Once you’re done press the ‘done’ button and choose where to upload your video to. If you save it as a video file (which you can then embed onto a website), you have a choice of format. Ask your IT officer if you want any help ensuring you choose a compatible format. Or, choose YouTube to get the video out to the world – it really depends on whether your demonstration includes password-protected resources.
Have a go and see what you think! Try a video without commentary first. Then, if you like the format, try formulating a script to go along with the demonstration.