EDU 807, Tech Review

Tech Review – “Screencast-o-matic”: Screen-capturing @ It’s Simplest

Regardless of learning environments (online or face-to-face) there will always be times where both students and faculty may need to use a screen-capturing tool to create some form of video. These videos can consist of class presentations by students, tutorials on how to navigate course materials, or faculty lectures. In Van Anh Nguyen (2017) article “Benefits of Screencasting for Teachers and Students” he argues that students benefit greatly from the use of screen-casts because it..

  • allows students to have access to information 24/7
  • allows student to learn by watching examples (for tutorials)
  • allows students to learn at their own pace
  • improves students’ attention and retention by using more than text-based instruction

Screencast-o-matic is a free screen recording software that allows users to create recordings of their computer screens while also incorporating audio and video of the presenter using a webcam (optional). Users can launch the free recorder directly from the website OR download the recorder to use on their desktop offline. Users can select to record a specific open window on a desk top of an entire screen/monitor. Recorded videos can be uploaded to the Screencast-o-matic website, YouTube, or any form of online storage. For users that chose to pay for the premium service ($20.00 a year), they can also include closed captioning, edit the video to remove sections of the recording, and have unlimited storage on the website.

As an instructor of both online and face-to-face classrooms, I have utilized this program in multiple ways. Teach an on-campus course and there is a snow-day? No fear! You can simply record your lecture at home and post it in your school’s LMS for students to access so that your class does not fall behind on content coverage (example). Teaching an online class and want to ensure students understand your course structure and expectations (or avoid repetitive questions about basic course mechanics)? Record a walk-through tutorial of your course shell in your LMS and go over your syllabus and how to navigate the class and submit materials (example). Want students in your online class to give a presentation but don’t want to force students to meet in a synchronous chat session? Have your students record their presentation through this tool and post a link in the LMS discussion board (example). Screencast-o-matic is an easy to use and efficient way of presenting information in a quick and free way that is accessible to both students and faculty.

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