Using Camtasia to Screencast


A few years ago I had the opportunity to develop a set of teaching tutorials for a security systems company. In doing so, I used Camtasia to develop a set of video's which helped the user install, and setup various systems related to the security application software they sold. It was a great way to disperse information in a format, which appealed to more then 90% of the customer base. I constantly use it, to disperse demos, mockups, and general how to information to the customer to enchance the application development process.

A screencast is a video recording of your computer screen, and usually includes audio. Screencasting is also referred to as video screen capture, and is a great way to teach or share ideas. Think about your digital life. All that time sitting at your desk. Think of your apps, websites, IMs, emails, and everything that makes up your digital world. What if you had a camera in your pocket, ready to capture and record in full, crisp HD at a moment’s notice? What types of videos would you create? Would you ever want to share what’s on your screen? How could it help you work better?

Common examples of screencasts are onscreen tutorials, video lessons, or slideshare presentations. A major benefit of screencasting is that the viewer can watch the screencast at a time when it’s best for them, because learning doesn’t always take place in an academic setting. Additionally, the viewer can absorb the information at their own pace by pausing and rewatching portions. Screencasts add a personal touch in ways that other methods (I’m looking at you PowerPoint decks and written proposals!) simply cannot.

A screencast can include many multimedia elements — music, sound effects, audio, and graphics — along with text, making any content topic engaging while also appealing to different learning modalities. Mayer's theory of multimedia learning suggests that animated presentations that have a corresponding audio component, essentially moving picture and sound, provide a more effective learning experience than a more traditional alternative (e.g., a sequence of still images accompanied by descriptive text).

If this is something which might appeal to you in a design or development environment, I urge you to take a look at Camtasia. It is easy to learn, very intuitive, and something which comes in handy for delivering information from just about every media source that comes to mind.