Week 5 Video Production: Screencasting


Welcome to our 5th Week Module!

Have you ever had trouble explaining to someone just how you did that certain thing on your computer? Like how to open a certain file or how to use a google spreadsheet? By creating a short video that essentially records what you do on your computer, coupled with your own narration, you can easily and effectively share this information by making a screencast video. This week we will be taking a look at screencasting, from what screencasts are to what software and websites can be used and, finally, how to do it yourself!

Screencasting makes it possible for you to make a video of what is happening on your computer screen. Showing everything that happens on your computer screen in real-time, screencast videos can be used as tutorials to show uninitiated users how to use different programs and emergent technologies.

Screencasting can be done with a variety of tools, but for the purposes of this module, we will focus on three ways to create a screencast; Jing, Quicktime and Screenr.

*Important Notice!*

 These three tools require different software and each tool may work differently, or not at all, for your computer.


 “What is it?”

Jing is a free, online, downloadable program that allows you to make short screencast videos (a maximum of 5 minutes). The program is simple to use and takes just a few moments to download.

How Can I Use It?

  • First, you will need to download the program. Begin by going to http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
  • Then, you will want to select the “Free Download” button on the top, right hand side of the screen. (See Picture)

  • Warning! Make sure you check the specifications on the free download page to see if your computer has all of the necessary requirements.
  • Once you have downloaded the program, follow your computer’s prompts to install and run Jing. (See Picture: Mac example only)

Now that you have downloaded Jing, you can open the program and make a screencast video.

  • Upon opening Jing, you will want to select which part of the screen you would like to limit your video to (you can use the whole of your computer screen or just a certain section).
  • Then you will want to hit record and start your tutorial (remember you only have five minutes)
  • Once you have recorded your video, you can save it or share it via several different outlets by selecting the appropriate button at the bottom of your screen.

Here are two helpful, step-by-step tutorial for creating your screencast video (one is just a link while the other, you can watch right here!):

Video Option #1

Video Option #2


Now, for a look at another screencasting option, Screenr!


Screenr, just like Jing, is a free way to create screencast videos. Like Jing, Screenr allows you to make short, 5 minutes screencasts. Also, Screenr is free. But unlike Jing, one only needs to go to the Screenr website in order to make a video.

  • The first step is to make sure you have the latest version of Java, which can be downloaded for free at www.java.com (it is probably a good idea to get Java anyway, as many other programs and tools make use of Java). The picture below is what you should see on the Java website.

  • Second, go to www.screenr.com and simply hit the record button when you are ready to begin your screencast.

  • Once you have clicked the record button, you will be able to adjust the size of your screencast, using the whole of your computer screen or however small a portion you would like.
  • Now, once you have selected which microphone you would like to use, you can hit record and begin, hitting done when you are finished.
  • Upon completion, you will be given a URL for your Screenr video that you can post on youtube, twitter, facebook or your own blog and website (just like Jing!)

For a really helpful and simple tutorial, watch this video from the Screenr website:

Now that we have taken a look at Screenr and Jing, we will now move on to our last screencasting option…


While the previous two options for screencasting are easy to use and free, if you have recently purchased a new Mac computer, odds are (depending on how new it is) you have the a version of Quicktime that allows you to make screencasts. If you have an older Mac (not purchased within the last year or two) then you will need Quicktime Pro, which will cost you hefty sum of money.

… But if you have that newer Mac, you already have a great and easy way to make screencasts right on your computer!

  • The first step is to go to the upper right of your screen to the spotlight function and type in Quicktime, clicking on the top option.

  • Now go to the “File” menu in Quicktime Player and select “new screen recording”.

  • Using the triangle shaped button on the right, you can adjust the microphone you want to use along with other settings.

  • Now, just like in Jing or Screenr, you drag your mouse to highlight what portion of the screen you want to use for your recording.
  • Once you have finished (by clicking stop), you will now be prompted to choose which type of file you want to save your screencast as (what resolution, for I-Phone or for computer, etc.)

Now that we have taken a look at three different options for creating a screencast video, we have come to this module’s assignment…

Creating a Screencast Video of Your Own!

Your assignment for this weeks module is to create a short tutorial video using one of the three options detailed throughout this module that best fits your computer:

  • Jing (Mac and PC, downloadable program, free)
  • Screenr (Mac and PC, browser/Java based, also free)
  • Quicktime (Mac, free on certain, newer computers)

The video should just include a super quick tutorial on how to do something on your computer (something as simple as “how to open Internet Explorer” or “how to play your favorite Lionel Ritchie song on ITunes”).

Once you have created your video, go ahead and put it up on youtube (if you know how) or simply remember the link needed to see it. Whatever route you choose to go, remember to have fun! Once you have all had a chance to make and save your video, please place the video or link on your group blog for us all to see!

*Helpful Tip!* —-> It seems a simple thing, but writing a script before making your screencast tutorial is  great way to take the pressure off and to keep your video clean of “umms” and “uhhs” and other non-desirables.

Good luck!


Now that you have made a screencast of your own, take a look around YouTube and Vimeo to find some other tutorials (chances are, they used one of the programs we have discussed or something very similar).

Here are two tutorials I found helpful for using two different music programs for Macs (while a little boring to the uninterested, they are great examples of the power of screencasts)



Now that we’ve entered into the world of screencasting and come out with our own videos, we would like to you to reflect upon what you’ve seen and learned on your blog and via Twitter. Let us know what you thought of the module and what you thought of screencasting and tutorials. Maybe sometime down the road you’ll be driven to make another screencast to help one of your not-so-technologically-gifted friends!

This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed, adapted, and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Grant Hayslip for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

7 thoughts on “Week 5 Video Production: Screencasting

  1. Okay, I am trying to do a screen cast with audio and I can’t see to get it to work. I am using QuickTime and I don’t know how to add the audio to what I have already done? I am sure it is easy but I am not getting it. Anyone know how to do QuickTime? Any suggestions?

  2. How do you make a screen shot? I get the screen casting but what if you just want to have one screen and then add written instructions to that. Anybody know and are willing to share some tips? Thanks

    • Hi Bethany,

      Is this for a Mac? Here is their recommendation…http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#capturescreen . I think if you saved the screenshot as an image you could then go to a photoediting tool like photoshop or gimp (freeware) to edit and add text. It looks like capturing a screenshot using Quicktime depends on what type of Quicktime software you have and may cost additional $$$. http://www.ehow.com/how_8308403_screenshots-quicktime.html

      Jing allows you to create screenshots and add text to the screenshot. Unfortunately, Screenr doesn’t have a screenshot option right now.

      Does this help?


    • Hi Bethany, Just wanted to tell you about 2 other ways to make a screenshot:
      1. Primo uses the screenshot short cut on a Mac. If you hold down the shift, command and ‘3’ keys simultaneously, some crosshairs will appear. Put the crosshairs in in a corner of the part of the screen you want to capture. Then drag the crosshair to capture the rest of the desired section of the screen. When you release the crosshairs, your screenshot will be waiting for you on your desktop. Save it somewhere or put it directly into your end product.
      2. I downloaded something called Skitch: http://skitch.com/ It allows me to take a screenshot and then annotated it as well with text, arrows and other fancy stuff. I like it that it gives a nice, satisfying little camera click sound with each take too.

      • Thank you for the replies. Sorry I wasn’t able to answer till now. I am going to try out the suggestions in the next few days and I will report my progress. Thanks again!

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