This is the first in a three part series on screencasting in the classroom. First of all, many of you are asking what is screencasting? Well Wikipedia defines it as, "a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration." I have used screencasting in my classroom for over five years, and love it. All of my major lectures are saved on video. If students miss class, they can access my lecture at school the next day or from home (Example). This is great for me and my students. If students miss a 20 minute lecture on using Excel formulas, I don't need to repeat that lecture for one or two students. They can watch it on their own at home or when they return to class. Students can also revisit my lecture if they need to go back review a portion of it. They can simply fast-forward to the part they need to watch again. It is a win-win for everyone involved.
I am going to start at the top of the mountain with this first post. Camtasia Studio by Techsmith. I have used this program the most over the years to record, edit, and publish the majority of my screencasts. Here is an overview:
The great thing about Camtasia Studio is that it is full-featured. You can record, edit, and publish in one place and to multiple formats. You can use the Pan and Zoom feature, add titles and transitions, and it even has a PowerPoint add-in. It is powerful! There is stuff that I have not even used, and I have using this product for a long time. It is good (did I mention that?) But, the drawback is the price. At last check, it is $299 per license. Camtasia Studio is the leader in the market when it comes to screencasting. If you can afford it and will use it, I would get it. The next couple of posts will explore some less-costly options if you want to dive into screencasting with your classroom. Until then, thanks for visiting!