Home Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge Week 8: Screencast-O-Matic

Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge Week 8: Screencast-O-Matic


WEEK 8 – Screencast-O-Matic

Screencasting, or capturing what you do on your computer or tablet in a video format while you narrate your actions, is one of the many benefits modern computer technology has provided to today's educators.

There are numerous free screen casting tools available, and one of the longest standing mainstays is Screencast-O-Matic. You can use it as a web app, or download a version for your PC or Mac. The free version of the tool limits you to 15 minute videos and does not permit editing (but you can get editing and unlimited video length for a meager $15 a year!).

Here's a 3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tutorial for Screencast-O-Matic:

Screencasting can be used to do so many things! Here's a few ideas for different ways you can use screencasting for teaching:

  • Open a picture, or several pictures, and talk about them. Maybe you want to share the works of a favorite artist or photographer, or pictures of some geographic area, or something scientific.
  • Open a document and discuss it – a section of an ebook, a paper, an article, whatever!
  • Navigate a favorite web site and explain what's available there – this could be a museum's online site, a science site, a news resource, or one of so many other awesome online resources.
  • The old classic … narrate over a Powerpoint slide deck you use to deliver a lesson in class.
  • Show students how to solve a math problem (you can use a tool you draw on, like MS Paint or Educreations).

The ways you can use screen casting for teaching are truly unlimited!

Now, you know the drill … AFTER YOU TRY Screencast-O-Matic, be sure to comment below and tell us about your experience (so you have a chance at winning one of our give aways at the end of the challenge)! If you've already used Screencast-O-Matic, we want to hear from you too! How did you use it for? Was it easy to use? What did your students have too say about it?

About the Challenge:

The Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge started March 1st. Every Sunday through the end of May we're publishing a new web page with a new, awesome free tool to try. Everyone who provides their name and email address (click here to open the Challenge introduction page and SIGN UP) will get an email providing the link to the page. The goal is just to have fun and learn about these powerful free web applications for teaching and learning, and along the way you get the opportunity to win some giveaways we'll award at the end of the challenge to randomly selected participants! To have a chance a winning, just participate and share some observations about the tools you each week!

Here are the tools we've shared so far:


  1. I use screencastomatic when editing student papers. I started it because I was unable to meet with my students to do writing conferences. So, I create them while I’m grading. I give students general tips and then they edit from my comments. It has been so very effective. When I had conferences, my words tended to go in one ear and out the other. Now, they have to pay attention and they can replay to do everything that I recommend. It’s fabulous! 🙂

  2. This is awesome! In addition to using it for the classroom, I can also see this being a valuable professional development tool. We can provide tutorials that teachers can access as needed for different applications or even for teachers to revisit content that was discussed at meetings. I think that a 15-minute limit is fair for free access, and most of the time, we like to keep things succinct. 🙂 Thanks for directing me to this great resource.

  3. I really love this tool. I can see so many uses for it. I am teaching an online course and was trying to find a way to add my “stories” and cool information without putting my face on the screen and this was it. It is so easy to use too. I am very excited about this. I plan to add this in all my classes. Great tool

  4. Another winner! I have tried a couple other screen casting programs/sites, but Screencast-o-Matic has been my favorite. I have used a variety of whiteboard apps for creating short videos for my math classes and didn’t think I could use a screen cast to demonstrate complex problems, but your tutorial video inspired me to try one for my students. 🙂 In my tutorial, I pointed out some features of different graphs, and I liked that the cursor was a highlighter for those key coordinates. (I also made a short screen cast for our faculty to explain another web tool.)

    I don’t mind the 15-minute time limit on the free version because I try to keep videos for my students short and sweet. I also appreciated the different publishing options. Good stuff, and I have loved these weekly challenges! Thanks so much!!

  5. It looks user friendly and simple. I agree with other comments, students can use it for their presentations. It would be great if they could use it on their iPads.

  6. Screencast-O-Matic is a “go to” tool for personal machines. In an institution, Java installation is usually a helpdesk function, so plan ahead. The ability to record cam, screen or both is a real bonus. There isn’t an option for captioning, so consider posting a transcript or hosting through YouTube if this is a requirement.

  7. I’ve used this program before. I’ll be upgrading to pro so I can be working on lessons for the next school year. It’s an easy user-friendly tool.

  8. Screen-o-matic is just a great web tool. I can’t believe it’s free!

    Apart from the obvious usufulness for teachers, I think it would be great for pupils too. I could ask my pupils to explain an ICT tool they used during an assessment. Or to describe a picture. And 15 minutes is way enough for most of the work will could done.

  9. I use Screencast-O-Matic for two years now and I find it very easy to use and cheap, only $ 15 a year to make effective and dynamic videos. Currently, I am preparing video clips with Screen-O-Matic for a 60-hour course on using the EXCEL spreadsheet. My teaching will be blended learning type. My colleagues are impressed by the professional quality video clips. I recommend it without hesitation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here