Show what you know...or what you want others to know!

Don't just explain, demonstrate!

Have you ever sent out an email or typed up a long document with detailed instructions for performing tasks like changing an email setting, doing an advanced search in Alexandria, or logging into an AEA database? If so, adding a screencast could significantly increase the effectiveness of your instructions!

What is a screencast?

"A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration."


Screencast-O-Matic is a free website that allows users to create screencasts up to fifteen minutes in length. You can also use a webcam in your screencasts. SOM will host them for free, or you can publish to YouTube or MP4, AVI, or FLV movies. The Pro account option is only $15 per year and allows for screencasts of unlimited length and also includes editing tools.

Screencast Tips and Tricks

  • Be aware of other windows that might be open on your desktop (close anything personal)
  • Try to make the background as similar as possible to what users will see when they are on their own (I use the generic student login)
  • Always double check your microphone to make sure the correct one is selected
  • Keep it short and sweet – it’s easier to record (and view) a couple of five minute videos rather than one long 15 minute video (plus the file sizes are smaller)
  • Screencasts can be great for subs and training videos