I have written and spoken before on this blog about screencasting. Three years ago I went through some of the possible applications that you can use on the Mac for screencasting. This is a bit of an update to that post and added ideas on screencasting for Windows.
Last year I posted a video on how to use the free online service Screenr. Screenr is a very clever free service that I use a lot for demos and training. However it is limited to five minutes, you need to ensure you get a perfect “take” as you can’t edit the resulting screencast and one further downside is that it is public, though it is possible to “quickly” download the Screenr recording as an MP4 file and then then delete the online screencast!
JISC Digital Media have a lot of resources on screencasting including tips and advice. I embedded their 6 Quick Wins presentation into the blog a few weeks back.
I also recorded a podcast with Gavin and Zak from JISC Digital Media in which we discussed what is screencasting, what can you do with screencasting, what tools are there for screencasting, top tips on making screencasts and delivery of your screencasts.
In Snow Leopard and Lion it is now possible to record screencasts using the built in Quicktime tool.
However as with Screenr you need to ensure you get it in one take, or stitch smaller videos together.
For a little more flexibility than the whole screen you get with Quicktime, another application IShowU gives you a few capture options, such as ½ or ¼ size. It also allows you to capture part of the screen, whereas Quicktime captures the whole screen.
iMovie on the Mac, which is usually used for video editing can be used to edit screencasts from recordings made from Screenr or Quicktime (or any of the other tools too).
One tool that I know a lot of people use for Windows is CamStudio.
CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)
CamStudio can also add high-quality, anti-aliased (no jagged edges) screen captions to your recordings in seconds and with the unique Video Annotation feature you can even personalise your videos by including a webcam movie of yourself “picture-in-picture” over your desktop.
It’s open source and free to download.
One tool I do use for Windows is Captivate. This is very powerful software from Adobe that allows you to not only capture what is on the screen, but also edit the capture afterwards, add further audio, more screen capture and add captions. The main difference I feel with Captivate is that it is less reliant on making the screencast as a pure video file. You can add interactions and even quizzes to turn a simple screencast into a learning tool.
For the Mac I use Screenflow and this has been recently updated to version 3.
Get your video on the web with Telestream ScreenFlow screencasting software. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and (with optional components) your computer audio. The easy-to-use editing interface lets you creatively edit your video; add additional images, text, or music; and add transitions for a truly professional-looking video. The finished result is a QuickTime or Windows Media movie, ready for publishing to your Web site, blog or directly to YouTube or Vimeo.
Use ScreenFlow to create high-quality software demos, tutorials, app demos, training, presentations and more!
Again one of the reasons for using Screenflow is that you can go in and edit the screencast, add more screen capture if needed, annotations, captions, subtitles. You can add audio, stills and video to enhance the screencast. You can also capture video at the same time, to add a picture in picture to your screencast.
If you rarely make screencasts then spending £70 on Screenflow is probably not good value for money. However if making screencasts is something you do on a regular basis and you have a Mac then I can recommend Screenflow as a useful and powerful tool.
Camtasia is another tool that is available for both Windows and Mac. Though for some reason the Mac version is much cheaper than the Windows version!
Create eye-catching training, presentation, and demo videos…the easy way. Camtasia for Mac screen recording software is streamlined, intuitive, and makes you look like a pro.
Easily record onscreen activity, Keynote slides, camera video, microphone or system audio—all with sparkling clarity. Record in front of a live audience or at your desk. Edit to perfection. Turn it into a stunning, HD-quality video at the perfect size to share on popular video sites, Apple devices, your website, blog, or anywhere you like.
A very similar tool to Screenflow and one that I know is used by a lot of people, especially on the Windows platform.
There are many ways in which screencasting can be be used to support learning and having covered some of the tools in this blog post, I hope to cover some of the ways in which it can be used in a future blog post.