Flipped Teaching Tools, Resources, How-Tos

Get Started With Screencasting for Little or No Cost With Screencast-O-Matic

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:

Another winner! I have tried a couple other screen casting programs/sites, but Screencast-o-Matic has been my favorite. I have used a variety of whiteboard apps for creating short videos for my math classes and didn’t think I could use a screen cast to demonstrate complex problems, but your tutorial video inspired me to try one for my students. :) In my tutorial, I pointed out some features of different graphs, and I liked that the cursor was a highlighter for those key coordinates. (I also made a short screen cast for our faculty to explain another web tool.)

I don’t mind the 15-minute time limit on the free version because I try to keep videos for my students short and sweet. I also appreciated the different publishing options. Good stuff, and I have loved these weekly challenges! Thanks so much!!

– 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.

Jenifer Hollander

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

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