One of the many tools that teachers have been enjoying during this Spring’s Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge over on EmergingEdTech is Screencast-O-Matic. This free screencasting app is a great tool for those looking to try their hand at screen casting without making a big investment.
You can use Screencast-O-Matic as a web app, or download a version for your PC or Mac. The free version of the tool limits you to 15 minute videos (which is a good guideline for length anyway – if you need more, record in 2 or 3 parts). If you want longer videos and editing capabilities you can upgrade to the Pro version for just $15 a year (sweet)!
This 3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tutorial shows you how easy it is to get started with Screencast-O-Matic:
Note that you might need some help with a Java install when setting up Screencast-O-Matic, so have a techie’s number nearby.
Here’s a few of the comments that teachers left on the Week 10 Challenge page when they tried Screencast-O-Matic:
– Karen Laster
This is awesome! In addition to using it for the classroom, I can also see this being a valuable professional development tool. We can provide tutorials that teachers can access as needed for different applications or even for teachers to revisit content that was discussed at meetings. I think that a 15-minute limit is fair for free access, and most of the time, we like to keep things succinct. Thanks for directing me to this great resource.
I really love this tool. I can see so many uses for it. I am teaching an online course and was trying to find a way to add my “stories” and cool information without putting my face on the screen and this was it. It is so easy to use too. I am very excited about this. I plan to add this in all my classes. Great tool.
– Patty Martin
Screencast-O-Matic is a “go to” tool for personal machines. In an institution, Java installation is usually a helpdesk function, so plan ahead. The ability to record cam, screen or both is a real bonus. There isn’t an option for captioning, so consider posting a transcript or hosting through YouTube if this is a requirement.
– Mark Ramsden
Screen-o-matic is just a great web tool. I can’t believe it’s free!
Apart from the obvious usufulness for teachers, I think it would be great for pupils too. I could ask my pupils to explain an ICT tool they used during an assessment. Or to describe a picture. And 15 minutes is way enough for most of the work will could done.
– Maxime Drouet