Useful Screen Capture Software Solutions

Capturing what happens in the classroom and disseminating the recordings online can improve student understanding as well as save valuable class time. By gaining repeated exposure to important material on their own time, students can spend more time in class building on foundational knowledge they have already mastered outside of class and delving deeper into the material.

Here are a few online tools that educators can use to record class lectures:

Camtasia Logo
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Camtasia Studio

What You Can Do:

  • Capture and record exact areas of your screen in HD video
  • Simultaneously record audio from any standard input source
  • Jump between applications without interrupting recording
  • Stop recording at any time with hotkey combinations
  • Apply custom display options to your mouse cursor
  • Edit video footage with multiple video and audio tracks
  • Add new voice recordings, sound effects, or music during production
  • Add pre-installed callouts, buttons, banners, backgrounds, and video effects
  • Store longer presentations in fairly small file sizes with Camtasia’s proprietary file format
  • Create and embed quizzes inside videos to check for student understanding

What You Can’t Do:

  • Render video files quickly
  • Run a lot of other programs on your compute while doing video production
  • Become a Camtasia pro after one use
  • Use Camtasia Studio free of charge for more than 30 days

Bottom Line:

TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio is the top of the line in screen capturing software offering a plethora of recording and editing features such as adding quizzes right inside a video. However, all those bells and whistles exact a premium toll on system resources and on tech budgets. Interested educators can try it free for 30 days, but beware of sticker shock after the trial period. A single copy of the full version costs around $300, but discount prices are available for multi-user licenses. Even if Camtasia Studio is too pricey, it might be worthwhile to download the trial just to see how many videos can be produced during one of the slower summer months. Click here to see some demos and read more information on the Camtasia website.

Jing Logo
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Jing

What You Can Do:

  • Capture and record exact areas of your screen in video or still images
  • Simultaneously record audio from any standard input source
  • Add arrows, text boxes, and highlights to images of screen shots
  • Upload captures to a website called screencast.com to be shared via URL or social media
  • Use hotkeys to maintain common aspect ratios

What You Can’t Do:

  • Record screencasts longer than five minutes
  • Edit video and audio footage

Bottom Line:

Made by the same company behind Camtasia and SnagIt, Jing functions as a useful and free alternative software for quick screen captures. The user interface is fairly intuitive consisting of a sun icon that hovers at the edge of your screen for easy access. For still images and videos under five minutes, Jing is worth the free download. To get the software, users will have sign up for an account with Jing. To share captures online, users will need an additional account with screencast.com.

Screencast-O-Matic Free Version

What You Can Do:

  • Capture and record exact areas of your screen in HD video
  • Capture and record from a webcam at the same time as screen capture
  • Simultaneously record audio from any standard input source
  • Pause and start recording at any time with hotkey combinations
  • Apply custom display options to your mouse cursor
  • Publish online to YouTube or to MP4, AVI, FLV file formats
  • Add captions to videos during production
  • Use a web version of the software without having to download or install it

What You Can’t Do:

  • Record video longer than 15 minutes
  • Publish still images of screenshots
  • Publish without the “Screencast-O-Matic.com” watermark on your video without purchasing a pro account
  • Save more than one video and password protect videos without purchasing a Pro account
  • Edit video and screenshots without purchasing a pro account
  • Record webcam only
  • Draw and zoom while recording
  • Use the web version without the latest version of Java

Bottom Line:

Screencast-O-Matic Free Version is functional software for thrifty users who need to record videos up to 15 minutes in length. Features that allow users to drag and re-size the video frame and to record webcam video are creative additions for a free web-based application. However, most people will find the ability to save only one video at a time and the limited editing options a drag on productivity. Get started with Screencast-O-Matic for free by visiting their web site, and you may decide that at only $15 a year, the upgrade to the pro version might be worth the price.

Screenr

What You Can Do:

  • Capture and record exact areas of your screen in HD video
  • Simultaneously record audio from any standard input source
  • Use a web version of the software without having to download or install it
  • Publish your videos to a unique web page on Screenr’s web site
  • Share videos using YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook
  • Receive comments on your videos
  • Download recordings as MP4 files and embed into Blackboard or other web sites

What You Can’t Do:

  • Record screencasts longer than five minutes
  • Edit video and audio footage
  • Publish still images of screenshots
  • Post videos for private audiences only
  • Use the web version without the latest version of Java

Bottom Line:

Screenr is similar to Screencast-O-Matic in regards to its interface and features. The social media sharing options and commenting feature make this screencasting software slightly more social than the others out there. In addition, Screenr is made by Articulate, a growing e-learning company, and users can expect that this software will continue to see upgrades and integration options into other Articulate software. The free web-based version of Screenr can be used immediately without a download at screenr.com, and a pro version with more privacy and branding features as well as an embeddable video recorder is available starting at $19 a month.

After a few years of developing, the various screen capturing software options available have really matured into easy, affordable options that educators can use to help produce repeatable course content. Do you know of any other good screen capturing solutions out there? Have your students experienced academic success using class videos? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comment section and as always, contact the La Salle University instructional design for support with integrating technology into your instruction.

2 Responses

  1. […] by the webinar are some of our favorite tools and techniques as well: Screencast-o-Matic, Jing, embedding YouTube videos, and recording over whiteboards using an iPad or […]

  2. […] can record audio or video of your feedback to add tone and intention to your message or as a way to support students that […]