Create Screencast Videos with Screencast-o-matic

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Screencast videos are short video recordings of your computer screen with audio narration. You could also call them narrated presentations or video modules. I’m sure you’ve watched dozens of screencast videos but I’m including some of our own examples just in case (Noodling Moodle Intro, County Websites Workbench, Movie Maker Cutaway Shot).

Creating a screencast video is one of the easiest things you can do on your computer. All you need is a microphone (webcam is optional) and some software/web tool. While there are lots of applications available to create screencast videos, one of the best tools I’ve used is Screencast-o-matic. And it’s free! Your videos can be saved to your computer as an mp4 or you can upload them directly to YouTube.




The free version allows you to record up to 15 minutes and it puts a small “Screencast-O-Matic” watermark in the lower left corner of the final published video. The Pro version ($15/year) gives you video editing, drawing tools, longer recordings and removes the watermark.

Tips:

  • Press ALT P to pause while you are recording 
  • Keep videos short!!! Research shows that the optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter. The average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. 
  • Don't read a script! Be natural and be yourself -- even if you aren't recording your webcam, your personality comes through in your voice. If you are recording your webcam - smile. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect. If you say "um" or stumble on a few words, no worries! 
  • Google Drive is a great way to share and store mp4 files before publishing them to YouTube. 
So, next time you find yourself typing out instructions, explaining how to find something online or wanting to record your presentation -- consider using screencast-o-matic. When you are ready to give it a try, just go to screencastomatic.com, watch their 2 minute tutorial and then start recording!

Feel free to share your comments about screencasting!

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