Whether planned out to the very last detail or done on the fly, screencasts are a great way to capture what you are doing on your computer. Screencasts can add a level of detail and demonstration to lessons and professional development that can’t be done in text and they can be used for troubleshooting as well.
I use screencasts regularly to show faculty how to perform certain tasks such as creating an assignment in Turnitin or sorting their CoursEval results. I incorporate them into my classes and other work with students. Creating a screencast is much easier (and quicker) than trying to explain it or write step-by-step instructions. While screencasts are not an appropriate solution for every scenario, they are quite versatile and it is good to know how to create them.
There are several tools available for creating screencasts. I tend to gravitate toward free tools because they are readily available to everyone. Free tools I have used Jing, Screenr, and QuickTime which comes pre-installed on all Macs. Jing and Screenr are Windows and Mac compatible and are basic and easy to learn. Screenr will even push your screencasts out to your Twitter and YouTube accounts. Purchased screencast tools I have used include Adobe Captivate and Camtasia which comes from the same company as Jing.
If you are interested in creating screencasts try one of these tools or try one of Tech & Learning Magazines Top 10 Applications for Creating Screencasts. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the tools out there.
For more information or assistance with screencasting tips, techniques, and ideas contact Instructional Support.
Here are some examples: