Screencasts are the equivalent of a video recording of action on your computer screen. These are wonderful for educational video productions on your blog that show readers how to use software or a web page, moving beyond printed instructions to visual guides.
Jeff Alexander offers “Screencasts: Tools of the Trade”, an amazing offering of the tools and software he uses to produce screencasts on Windows Vista.
Some of these tools will work on Windows XP and may cross operating system platforms. Though some of the best tools don’t come cheap.
In the end, Jeff recommends Camtasia Studio, available for free for a 30 day trial, but individual copies are USD $299 each (or less). Ouch. If you do a lot of screencasts, this will pay for itself in a very short time. If you don’t, that’s a big ticket price.
Jeff offers other lower tech and cheaper methods. I did a little searching and found some free downloadable screencasting programs, but I haven’t given them a try yet.
I also found an interesting FAQ on screencasting and screen capture from All Streaming Media worth a read if screencasting is in your future.
What you use for creating screencasts on your blog or for teaching or presenting programs? Do you have a favorite program that allows you to “record” your onscreen activities, mouse movement, along with video instructions?
Have you found a decent free or open source program? How do you create screencasts? And if you do, what are some tips and things we need to look for in a good screencasting program?
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