When I have down time, I like to play around with some different tools to see if there’s anything I should be adding to my own catalog of technologies I can incorporate into my work flow.
Jane Hart’s list of Top 200 Tools for Learning is my go-to place for inspiration.
This past week I spent a lot of time talking with colleagues and potential clients about software training, specifically the importance of short, on-demand tutorials to help casual system users remember how to perform certain functions. With this in mind, I started to browse the Top 200 Tools list and came across Screencast-O-Matic. I took it for a spin and this is what I learned:
It’s super easy and intuitive
That’s it. What more does one want in a tool?
It literally took me fewer than five minutes to play with the system, learn it well enough to capture a screen recording (including 3 takes because I needed to find a microphone that wasn’t giving me too much white noise), publish it and upload it to YouTube. Here is the short sample I created:
This was created using the free version. If you’re looking for something a little more robust, you can pay up to $4.00/month for a solo plan or up to $17.50/month for a team plan in order to have access to features such as removing the Screencast-O-Matic logo, lots of editing features and some team collaboration features as well.
Camtasia has been my video editing tool of choice for a long time, but my experiment with Screencast-O-Matic was so easy I may re-think my relationship with Camtasia. I’ll have to explore a little more to make sure it would give me all the features I’d need.
The bottom line, however, is that if you’re looking to churn out a series of screen captures and tutorial videos to walk your staff through procedures they need to follow on computer-based systems, I’d highly encourage you to take Screencast-O-Matic out for a spin.