Screencasting Basics

videocameraclassicOne of the easiest ways you can create student-centered, engaging materials for your in-person, hybrid, or online courses is with screencasts.

Wikipedia defines “screencast” as a digital recording of a computer screen, often containing audio narration.

But you might be thinking that the software is hard to learn or that you don’t have time for editing and so on.

Well, the short video below will walk you through all you need to do to get started creating short screencast videos for your classes. It really is easier than you think.


videocameraclassic Video recap:

You should use free software, like Screencast-O-Matic or others, when:

  • You want to record your computer screen and audio for a PowerPoint slideshow or a software demonstration (like this one!).
  • You know you won’t need to edit the finished video (or you’ll need minimal editing).
  • You know you can keep it to under 15 minutes.



Now that you know the basics, visit Screencast-O-Matic, log in with your Google account, and download and install the software to get started with your first screencast.

You can also find lots of great, additional tutorial videos on YouTube.

NOTE: if you have difficulty downloading and / or installing Screencast-O-Matic, contact Liberal Arts IT Support ( – 512 – 232 – 5400) or the UT Service Desk ( – 512 – 475 – 9400).



caution But what if you need to record something longer? Or you need to do lots of editing?

Screencast-O-Matic DOES have a “pro” account option that lets you pay a small annual fee ($15/yr) and will allow you to make some edits and other changes to your video. However, if you want to do anything more than the most basic types of editing or other manipulations to your video, it’s time to investigate other (more expensive) screencasting tools like Screenflow or Camtasia.

To learn more about Screenflow and Camtasia, take a look at the next post in this series Screencasting – Beyond the Basics.


contacts If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule a 1-on-1 training session to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Tagged with: , , ,

Leave a Reply