Categories: Screen Recording
Availability: Online, Desktop
Uses: Reinforce learning, Reflection, Feedback
What is it?
Screencast-o-matic is a web application that allows you to take a recording of your computer screen while onscreen activities are being carried out and then share this recording with others.
The free version of the software allows you to record up to 15 minutes, record the screen and your webcam and publish the recording to YouTube or save the video file. The paid version (at a very reasonable $15 per year) offers additional features including the ability to record for longer, remove the watermark, publish to more platforms and script your recordings.
How can I use it?
Screencast-o-matic is an easy to use web application for screencasting (screen recording) which can be used to create and share software or on-screen demonstrations, simulations or narrated presentations with your students. This offers students an additional, personalised resource to reinforce learning at a later stage, to improve comprehension and aid retention.
For instance, you can quickly record a walkthrough of a particular piece of software or demonstrate a complicated equation to provide to your students as a tool for revision or reinforcement.
Another approach to gauge comprehension or as a means of formative assessment is to ask your students to to record presentations or demonstrations using the free version of Screencast-o-matic and share the recording with you.
Screencast-o-matic can also be used to provide feedback to your students by recording the screen as you move through their work while giving verbal feedback which is also recorded. Unlike written feedback, more information is provided to the student in a shorter amount of time.
To get started:
- Decide what you want to record and make a note of a few key steps or points that you want to cover
- Go to https://screencast-o-matic.com and click “start recording”
- You will be prompted to launch the recorder in your browser (Java dependent) or to download a lightweight application for Windows or Mac
- Choose your settings, including the area of your screen to record, and press record.
- Carry out the steps you want to cover and when you’re finished press “Pause” and then “Done” to save or publish your recording.
- If uploading to Youtube, change the Privacy setting to Private in case you want to make any edits in YouTube before you share it with others.
Why should I use it?
Screencasting in general can help to facilitate a very clear instructional process where no steps are missed or are open to interpretation. It can help to enhance clarity and avoid or reduce gaps in the comprehension and transfer of knowledge. Screencasting tools such as Screencast-o-matic can save valuable time in developing screencasts for your class or just one student and saves time in providing feedback.
Screencast-o-matic is a lightweight, easy to use solution which will allow you to quickly record material and share it with your students. The free version of this tool is often suitable for most use - if you don’t mind the watermark - as it is generally recommended to keep recordings short and to the point.
Many users of Screencast-o-matic and other screencasting tools fret over the production value of their screencast or getting their voiceover perfect. The following are a few tips that we’ve found useful when planning screencasts:
- Prepare what you are going to say and do (on-screen) beforehand. Make a simple list of chronological tasks and have it visible and consider any verbal points you want to make.
- Pause the recording if you want to double-check what to do next, particularly if you are using the free version and can’t edit after (note: you can make edits in YouTube before sharing with others).
- Try to keep recordings direct, short and simple. A series of focused step-by-step recordings is preferable to a single long recording.
- Make the capture window as small as possible to avoid recording unnecessary areas or elements of the screen.
Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.