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A screencast is a video recording of your computer screen, and usually includes audio. Screencasting is also referred to as video screen capture, and is a great way to teach or share ideas.

Common examples of screencasts are onscreen tutorialsvideo lessons, or slideshare presentations. A major benefit of screencasting is that the viewer can watch the screencast at a time when it’s best for them, because learning doesn’t always take place in an academic setting. Additionally, the viewer can absorb the information at their own pace by pausing and rewatching portions. Screencasts add a personal touch in ways that other methods simply cannot.

Watch this “Making screencasts: The pedagogical framework” by Robert Talbert, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University, to learn more about how you might incorporate screencasting.


Potential Uses

Use it to introduce yourself to the class.

You can include your background and experience with the subject and add personal touches like photos and your favorite music to connect with students.

Use it to introduce the class structure.

Using screencasting to explain online course navigation and instructions helps provide the instructor presence so important to student success in online environments.

Use it to present content or demonstrate skills to your students.

For example, screencasting can allow you to

  • record and present a speech, a story, an interview or a conversation.
  • screen capture a presentation along with narration.
  • screen capture a demonstration of a math problem being solved using a drawing program.
  • create tutorials and step-by-step video demonstrations on how to use laboratory equipment or specific software programs.
  • provide training on a range of topics.
  • offer explanations and clarifications of complex concepts.
  • record chunked lectures, or break up longer lectures into smaller segments.

Use it to provide feedback to your students.

Screencasting allows you to augment textual corrections with speech and drawings.

Read more.

Explore the source of the ideas above as well as Michael Keathley‘s summary of ways that screencapture can help students learn.


Screencasts can provide learners a student-centered and engaging learning experience in both distance and traditional learning settings. To align screencasts with lesson objectives, goals, assessment practices, and standards, instructors can create their own screencasts rather than searching through the thousands of educational screencast videos on the web. Good educational screencasts depend not only on thorough planning but also on thoughtful and careful editing to re-sequence lesson elements, eliminate awkward and unnecessary portions, and craft a focused, easy-to-follow presentation that uses students’ time efficiently. “Flipped teaching” supported by screencasts enables instructors to become facilitators of learning and avoid the sage-on-a-stage teaching approach. Existing PowerPoint presentations can be modified to create screencasts, which offer instructors greater versatility in developing lesson plans. Adding narration, music, sound effects, and video makes PowerPoint presentations much more engaging. Source: Screencasting to Engage Learning


The most obvious drawback of screencasting is that it is not interactive. Although some lessons lend themselves to fixed demonstration, others do not and should not be taught with screencasts. Moreover, in the same way that watching someone demonstrate a program can include irrelevant information, simply recording the instructor’s screen during a class session can be an inefficient way to transfer information. Good screencasts depend on planning a session with an eye toward its being recorded and on thoughtful editing afterwards. Source: 7 Things You Should Know About Screencasting

Popular Free Screencast Programs

Software Platforms Company Record Limit Tutorial
Jing PC & Mac TechSmith 5 min Tuorial
Screencast-o-Matic PC Screencast-o-Matic 5 min Tutorial
CamStudio PC & Mac CamStudio Approx, 10 min Tutorial

Popular Commercial Screencast Programs

Software Platforms Company Cost
Camtasia Studio PC & Mac TechSmith $199.00 (30day free trial)
Adobe Captivate PC & Mac Adobe $299.00 (Student-Teacher Edition)
ScreenFlow Mac ScreenFlow $129.00
Explain Everything iOS & Andriod Explain Everything $4.99 (Education)

Source: Screencasting to Engage Learning