Although there are many tools that let you create narrated presentations, such as Camtasia or Screenflow, we decided on Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) as our tool of choice in the SoN. There are several reasons that motivated this choice: first, SOM is very easy to download, install, and use; second, it works well on both Windows and OS X computers, and can record anything that is visible on the computer screen, so regardless of whether you use PowerPoint or Keynote, or just want to show students an interesting website, recording is easy; third, it offers simple but effective editing tools that let you trim and cut sections of the recording (for example, a mistake), without having to start over every time; and fourth, while it offers the features we need, it is quite affordable – we have sufficient SOM licenses to make it available to all SoN instructors.
If you are interested in using SOM, please schedule an appointment with Tim Piatt for a brief demo session, and to get access information. We also have brand new microphone headsets available to SoN faculty and instructional staff, that make recording presentations on your computer easier, and offer good sound quality – if you plan or recording your course materials, please stop by to pick your headset from Tim Piatt or George Jura.
Please note that the access information for the Pro version SOM (which we will email to SoN faculty by request) is intended only for instructors’ use (it is not available to students – please do not share username/password information with students).
If you’d like to make recording a screencast an assignment for your students, they can use a free-access version of SOM, which has slightly limited editing features, and produces watermarked (but fully functional) videos. Please schedule a brief meeting with us, and we can help you plan a multimedia assignment for students in your class, including a list of resources (equipment, software, and how-to training) available to students on campus.
While we hope that SOM will offer more flexibility and convenience to SoN instructors, if you prefer to record narrated presentations at the media lab using Camtasia, this option is also available at Cooper Hall, and you can schedule an appointment with Tim Piatt or George Jura to do so.
Coming soon: In mid-April 2016 we plan to open a new mini-recording-studio that will let faculty go beyond narrated PowerPoints, and will offer an easy way to quickly create videos that combine live, professionally-lit video of the instructor, and a presentation of on-screen materials.
Image credit: Microphone by Marko Poplasen / Shutterstock. This page was last updated on February 11. 2016.