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Online teaching tools. Part 2. Screen recording software.

So, in our last article I wrote about video conferencing tools.
That chapter is still not over, I have to write about my current choice there, Big Blue Button. But today I wanted to write about something different.

Screenshot software.

Just a side point here. There is no need to use software to make a screenshot. The key “Prntscrn” on your keyboard does that. And in Windows you have the Snipping Tool , which has recently been changed to Snip & Sketch (I personally prefere the old Snipping Tool). In Linux I use Shutter.

Screen recording software.

If you start teaching online you will soon discover the actual “video teaching” is just a small part of it all. I laugh when I hear politicians saying “we are starting an online teaching system”. I’ve been doing it for nearly 5 years and there is still SO much to do.

Video classes combine perfectly, and SHOULD be offered with:

  • Homework and online exercises.
  • Extra video material (paid or free).

As you start doing the two above, you will gradually find you are creating online courses (something else you can offer and sell).

My article today refers to the second point: “extra video material”. For this you need to record yourself  (I use my mobile phone for that) and, very often, record things you do on your computer. For which you need screen recording software.

And here is a quick review of some of the best free ones out there. Again, I hope it saves people all the time I spent testing and discarding.

Software you have to install.

OBS Studio.

The one I use.

And I never thought I was going finally chose OBS, as it is a gamer’s screencast and streaming tool. Do you when your kids watch videos of people playing video games? A lot of them are recorded with OBS.

But it turns out it is one of the best free pieces screen recording tools out there.

It takes some time to understand how it works, you have to add each recording source, and some time to tame it to your way of working (I have addded keyboard shortcuts to start and stop recording). But it does its job perfectly.

You can ever record your videoclases and live streaming. There are no restrictions of source or time, and accepts various formats.

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

 

FBX.

FBX was not available when I first researched screen recording software. But it does seem a great contender. It is very similar to OBS, maybe a bit less intimidating. It has no limitations on source or time limits.

FBX can also be used to streamcast or live streaming.

 

EzVid.

This was the screen recording software I though would be my final choice during my first review. However, I found it glitchy and had limitations (I don’t excatly remember which) that made me discard it.

However, please try it out, it IS visually nicer than the ones above and maybe more user friendly.

 

Camtasia.

It comes out on every screen recording review. Even free ones. I bring it up because it has a free TRIAL, but it is not free. So no good for me.

 

ShareX.

Also included as screen recording, it is not really so. It is a great program for screenshots, and can record your screen (in GIF format I think), but it does not record audio. So again no it is of little use for teaching IMO.

 

Screen Capture to Gifs.

You will soon find you need loads of media resources for your online courses. A nice way to liven them up is to add animated Gif, so I will include a special section for this. Many of the above allow recording to Gifs too.
Remember Gifs have no sound.

 

Browser Extensions.

Many teachers use browser extensions because they are really easy to use and install. I prefer the freedom the programs above give, but I wanted to include this section.

Nimbus Screenshot and Video Recorder.

Recomended by Chris, an academy owner from a Facebook group (thanks).
I don’t use it so I have don’t have much to say here, except it does seem to have good reviews and all the tools you would need from a screen recorder.

If it is recommended by a teacher, I would start with this one.

 

Screencastify.

It has as good reviews as Nimbus, and allows you to edit videos too. Worth a try out.
It’s free for up to 50 videos per month, and you need to upload either to Youtube or Google Drive.

 

Loom.

Loom is free, but it requires registration. You can pause and resume videos, but it stores them in Loom’s own online storage space.

 

Mobile screen recorders.

I sometimes have to record something from my mobile phone (how to use tools on the mobile phone, videoclasses etc). I’m not a Mac fan so I can’t help you there. But here are some Android apps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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