Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Still more web and media tools for educators

I have posted previously (here and here and here) about a variety of tools I use for working with graphics and video for educational stuff. Here are some updates and great free offers!
Screen Capture:

  • I had previously recommended the FastStone Capture program. Since that posting, the latest version (5.7) has become Shareware instead of Freeware. The clever web surfer will find the last free version (5.3). It is the first tool I use.
  • TechSmith's SnagIt is an outstanding screen capture program with lots of extra features. It is able to capture scrolling windows.
Video Capture:
  • I had previously looked at a variety of lowcost screen/video capture programs. (WME, Wink, Zentation, VCASMO, etc.) It really can't get too much easier than Jing, however, and it is free. Download the program, set up a free account, and record in a variety of ways. You can even store the video online. HERE is an example of a Jing video of a BibleWorks procedure I had demonstrated in class using Parallel Windows and the Text Comparison tool.
  • TechSmith's Camtasia Studio screen recording program is another fine product. The first time I tried it, I had no problem capturing a region of the screen along with microphone audio and a webcam feed. Very impressive...
UPDATE1: Read the comments to this post, especially if you are a Logos user and need to capture views of long windows.
UPDATE2: Here is a post on "Further Investigations into Free Screencast Software." It is noted there that the latest SnagIt is greatly improved. It also provides a comparison of Jing, Camtasia, and CamStudio. Also on that blog are "Quick Tips for Improving Screencasts."
UPDATE3: "Learning to Use Camtasia" online tutorial.
UPDATE4: (2008.02.11) Yet another nice, free screencasting tool: FreeScreenCast


  1. Hmm. "Welcome to this exclusive offering for PC Plus Magazine readers from the United Kingdom." Not sure I can justify this.

  2. Hmmm indeed... Thanks for noticing.
    I got the SnagIt program first, and that  Registration Page doesn't have that "exclusive offering" header on it. So when I went to do the Camtasia one, I just zipped right past that and filled in the blanks like the first time. I actually first found the links via the highly respected "Jane's
    E-Learning Pick of the Day
    ," and she made no mention of the "exclusive" nature of the offering. I have contacted the TechSmith support department regarding this matter, and I will update this entry once I get a ruling from them.

  3. Well, after an incredibly short response time from TechSmith (that speaks quite highly of their support staff), I received the following reply:
    "Thanks for writing in and asking Mark. The promotion was originally only for the magazine, but it has leaked out and we decided to offer it to anyone who asks us about it."
    >> So, you all are free to go ahead and use it!

  4. BTW, for those of you using Logos:
    A problem had been observed when using Timelines if you wanted to copy/paste a window and use it as a graphic when the window was too long vertically. (In Logos, you can "Fit" horizontally but not vertically.) Using the "Scrolling Window" capture feature in SnagIt, you can indeed capture the whole window and save it.

  5. Another tool teachers might like is ZoomIt... Not only does it Zoom in on the section of the screen where the mouse is pointing, but it will draw, highlight, point, etc objects on the screen... And its free:


    God Bless,

    John Norman

  6. Hey, John! Thanks! That's a very cool tool. (HERE is a clickable link to the site you listed.) I'd been looking for something like that to use with my PowerPoint presentations. The only ones I had found were MouseLight < that company link may not work; HERE is a download site) that costs $20 and PowerCursor r RemotePoint (both cost $$) which do have a nice "spotlight" feature.