Resources and Suggestions for Hack Creation
Suggested Resources for Producing Your “Hack”
Produce a Screencast
|Product||Cost||URL or Download Link||Produces video file?||Editing tools?||Other Restrictions|
|Smart Notebook Recorder||
Free if your school owns a Smartboard
Free 30-day trial for all.
|Download Smart Notebook||Produces WMV, which can be uploaded to YouPD||None, though you could import file to iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit.||
No zoom, pan, etc.
|Screencast-o-Matic||Free (without editing tools, Pro costs $12/yr)||Screencast-o-matic||Produces MP4 for download.||None in free version. Yes in Pro.||
Web Based! No downloads.
No zoom, pan, etc. in free version. Yes in Pro.
|Jing (Free)||Free||Download Jing||FLV only. CANNOT upload to YouPD, unfortunately.||None||5 minute recording time limit|
|Jing (Pro)||$15/yr||Download Jing, then sign up for Pro||Produces MP4||None, though you could import clips into iMovie or Windows Movie Maker||5 minute recording time limit|
|Camtasia for Mac||
$75 (educator price)
Free 30-day trial.
|All common formats||Yes. Pretty robust editing toolkit.||Rich editing feature set, including transitions, zoom, cursor highlight, etc. Can include your talking head.|
|Camtasia Studio (PC only)||
$170 (educator price)
Free 30-day trial.
|Download Camtasia Studio||All common formats||Yes. Very rich editing toolkit.||Best screencasting toolset on the market, though expensive. Includes zoom, pan, transitions, etc.
Can include your talking head.
Screencast Motion Effects
Most of the “non-free” screencasting tools allow you to pan and zoom on regions of your screen recording as you edit it for production, allowing you to draw attention to important features and add cursor highlights. Another option for getting motion and highlights is to use Prezi.
Prezi (www.prezi.com) is a browser-based presentation tool that is free for educators and features rich zoom and pan motion effects. Placing still screenshots in a Prezi and sequencing their motion with a path and frames can be another way to efficiently draw attention to the important features of your solution. Create a free screen recording of your Prezi and you can accomplish motion effects without having to pay top dollar!
Use a Smartphone to Capture Video
The ubiquitous smartphone has put relatively high definition video recording capability at every teacher’s fingertips. Whether you are a Mac or PC owner, you should have access to free video editing software in the form of iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, respectively. Import video clips from your smartphone and be on your way! While it is beyond the scope of this tip-sheet to explain how to use these editing tools, here are some links to tutorials to help you get started.
Free Video-Editing Tools
Both of these are great options if you want to mash up video, screencast segments, still images and screen-captures, use title slides, or insert text callouts. If you prefer, you can also record a voice narrative over a sequence of still slides or screenshots in either these programs, sidestepping the need for a screencasting app.
When recording your screencast, the internal microphone on most laptops can produce satisfactory, though not excellent results. If possible, you should try to use a USB headset or table-top microphone. Run a quick test to check audio levels. Too low and your average laptop speakers will render your screencast impossible to understand. Too high and you may get clipping and distortion: annoying to the listener.
Be Aware of Student Privacy Concerns
Certain limitations and best-practices for respecting student privacy follow from federal and state law, and are typically found in school district policies. In general, the following two rules of thumb should be sufficient:
- Unless you have signed parental consent to release them publicly, examples of student work should have names blurred out or removed.
- Unless you have signed parental consent (such as via a blanket media waver), video footage of students should not be used.
- Any screencasts or screenshots of documents that are official records (grades, etc) should be avoided or have names blurred out.