This was not my first experience using a screencasting website. Last year, I discovered ShowMe, an iPad app that allows you to create videos while drawing on their screen, similar to what you see when you watch a Khan Academy video. I would create a few slides and then narrate whatever I was doing; I mostly made them for math topics, like subtracting with and without regrouping. Once I posted the video, I would get a link to it, which I would then email to my students’ parents to help with math homework. You don’t need an account to view the videos, and I received a lot of feedback from parents saying how helpful it was to know “how I was teaching it at school”.
Here is a recent video I made about reading and writing numbers up to 1 trillion.
Screencast-O-Matic is different than ShowMe because I can use something already on the screen to create a video. This would be helpful if I were showing how to use a tool or website for both students and parents. Instead of making my own problems, like I do when I use ShowMe, I could use problems from other websites to teach my students how to do something. I could also pull up ebooks and use them as model texts for students to reference while they are writing. Students could also create screencasts to teach other students how to use certain tools or to demonstrate that they have mastered the use of a particular tool or website. Since I will be running a self-paced classroom this year, I think Screencast-O-Matic will be a great tool to use alongside ShowMe.
Today, I made a screencast on how to remix a ThingLink interactive image.