Saturday, March 1, 2014

Favorite Screencast Tool

Sometimes it is useful to record your desktop and computer usage as a tutorial for students. I often do this when teaching with Google Earth. I often want students to only use some Google Earth layers, or want them to load custom layers. It is usually easier to create a screencast to show the students exactly what to do, then to have to repeat myself a million times in the computer lab. It is also very useful to have an archive available for students in the chance they might need to reference this outside of school.

My new favorite tool for creating sceencasts is a free web based tool called Screencast-o-matic. You can make a free account, to make one screencast at a time, however it allows you options to upload directly to YouTube, download the file, or post it on  Screencast-o-matic. The video here, is a very quick tutorial I made showing students how to access the earthquake data we needed for a lab activity. (The video is very fast and wouldn't serve as a great tutorial, however, students had already had a lot of practice obtaining this data. The video was part of an archive to help students remember how to obtain the data.)

This tool runs great in all operating systems. I'm running Linux Mint 16 Petra Cinnamon Edition x64bit, and the app worked fine. (Wait hold on, let me just push up my glasses and fix my pocket protector a bit.)  As long as you have a current version of java installed, it should work fine. The nice thing about the tool is that it allows you to record your entire desktop, and will capture narrations as well.  Screencast-o-matic is a great web based tool to create simple educational tutorials and quickly add to your educators YouTube channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment