Five great free screen capture tools

Screen capture software can be used to:

  • deliver online lectures that include annotations
  • create demo videos for any computer programs
  • record a video explaining a technical solution  to a problem frequently asked by your students
  • share tips and tricks for using any computer systems, e.g. a VLE

I have been using Jing to capture images and screencasts on my computer for some time now. It is very easy to use.   However, Jing only allows you to record up to 5 minutes videos.  This can be considered as a limitation or advantage depending on how you see it.  As our attention span [1] is about 5-20 minutes and most people tend to scan the web, short videos are more likely to be watched from the beginning to the end.  Having said that, a lecturer may need more than 5 minutes when a complex idea is explained.

Here are 5 free screen capture tools recommended by friends on Twitter.  A big thank you to @hardy_alison, @mentalese and @patlockley.

Three tools that need to be installed on your computer:

Two online tools:

  • www.screenr.com/ allows you to record your screen by one click.  You can record onscreen video for up to 5 minutes.   To publish the video, you need to log into one of your online accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo Linkedin or Windows Live ID.
  • www.screen-o-matic.com is very similar to screenr: one click recording. The video file can be published to the screen-o-matic site, Youtube, or saved to your computer.  The recording is limited to 15 minutes and has screen-o-matic water mark.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_span

Image source: http://www.fotopedia.com/items/79doga0qi4mic-gs7rOMfKyoE

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