#1 5 Minutes Meals for ICT

November 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

Topic or Tool: Screencasting, a digital recording of computer screen.

What does it cost? Low end FREE, at the Professional end, it can be expensive. For use in your classroom, on your website or CPD, Jing, Wink, ScreenToaster, Screencast-o-matic and the many others, are just fine. Just in case you get hooked, Camtasia, for professional level recording, editing and sharing high end screen video.


The new kid on the block is ‘in browser’ screen casting. Enter ScreenToaster, a free web based screencasting tool that requires no installation, no software and can record your full desktop screen (or just a rectangular section) in few clicks. It will even host the finished screencast for you and is therefore immediately available for sharing via email or for embedding on other sites. You can download it of course, but why would you? Ok you might want to.

A hidden bonus is that Screen Toaster is written as Java web applet, which means it works pretty much on every Operating System. Any difficulties here, as your Network Manager, considering there is nothing to install s/he should be more than happy to help !

The downside – Screen Toaster doesn’t not currently record audio, but its coming, in the mean time you can add subtitles. On the up side, they were more than happy to help when I asked for a few extra accounts for students to use.

Screencast-o-matic is another similar online screencasting app but what you may like more about Screen Toaster is that it renders videos as streaming Flash so it becomes easy to embed screencasts in web pages. For those of you that love your firefox browser, there no reason to leave with Capture fox.

How it could be used for teaching?

An obvious answer, create ‘How to’ screencasts. Screencasts to show students how to login into your VLE? Or create functions in a spreadsheet, or any skill in a ICT lesson. Screencasts for staff on how to complete the NEW online registers or assessments?

How it could be used for learning.

I recently asked the students to evidence they could attach documents to their emails using screentoaster, I know I am not the only teacher using screencasting as OCR Nationals evidence. I know Gideon Williams at Perins School was complimented by his External Moderator for using screencast to  evidence some of the criteria in the OCR Nationals. This process requires thinking and planning and if your use the audio features, scripting skills as well. Getting senior students to create ‘how to’ screencasts for junior students is a very powerful learning tool but also a great resource creator / base for the teachers.


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