Creative Classroom: Using Mac Video Capture in Education

By Angie Parkinson
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Screencasts are fairly well known for encouraging sales. Mac video capture software can help the makers of software, mobile apps – or anything, really – create screencasts that demonstrate all of their products' features, click by click, for a very small investment. Many bloggers also value video capture software for making their posts more colorful and interesting, but educators may not realize the wonderful things screencasts can do for their students.

The best thing about using video capture software to benefit your students is the fact that you are not limited to an actual classroom or to anyone's schedule. Once you have used video capture software to craft a screencast and have posted it online, students can settle onto their couches in pajamas and review the basics of the day's lecture whenever they are ready. It is one way to extend your office hours without extending your office hours.

Screencasts can be helpful when students have to miss lectures for an illness or other emergency. They are also great for helping people learn at their own pace. Students don't have the option to pause a live lecture, of course, but with video instruction, they can stop the screencast at any time to practice a step or to make notes that will help them later. When they are ready, they can push play to continue.

The visual learners of the world always appreciate a PowerPoint presentation in place of a dry lecture, but screencasts are even better. They can bring all of those slides to life and help students retain more information. There is nothing better than a screencast for any type of class that teaches students to use any type of software. Mac video capture software can help you show students how to get the best from any software application by showing them what to do, click by click.

The basic steps for crafting a screencast for your students with Mac video capture software are:

1. Prepare. First, map out what you will cover in the video – possibly by writing a script, and definitely by creating an outline. It's also a good idea to run through your screencast once before you start recording.

2. Record. Each brand of Mac video capture software is slightly different, but most applications allow you to capture audio and video from a wide range of sources. You can record all or part of your screen, as well as input from your webcam, microphones and more. The best Mac video capture software comes with a wide range of tutorials and other customer support if you need help along the way.

3. Edit. The simplest screencasts will not require you to cut and paste different video clips or sound together, but many will. The best Mac video capture software has built-in editing tools so you can add or subtract sound and visuals with ease. For the applications that don't, you just need to export the files to iMovie, Final Cut Pro or a similar editing application. Then, you can rearrange everything into a logical order for your students to follow.

4. Share. When you have a finished product that you like, you can share it by uploading it to YouTube and other video sharing sites. You can also upload it to your own site. Just make sure that your students know where to find it.

Great screencasts can help students of all ages. We watched screencasts for elementary school lessons and college level courses alike. All of them offer great ways for students to catch up or keep up with many types of classes.

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