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A screencast is a digital recording of your computer screen, typically accompanied with audio narration. You may use screencasts to explain complicated topics to your students, demonstrate how to use a software application, perform an overview of your syllabus, or even to provide student feedback. Screencasts are useful in blended and fully online courses, but can also help you regain valuable face-to-face classroom time that can be used for more student interaction and group work.
Following are some free and low-cost screencast options. Please contact the Teaching & Technology Center if you would like to learn more.

Open Broadcaster Software​ (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Open Broadcaster Software is a free and open source software for recording and live streaming screen capture content. OBS has many features that pro versions of similar applications offer, but is completely free. For example, you can record from multiple sources at the same time including the webcam, desktop, computer audio, etc. It allows for unlimited recording length and has many formats for saving the final video including .mp4, .mov, .flv, etc. 

A unique feature of this software is that it provides a live streaming feature so students can interact with educators in real time on platforms they are already using like YouTube, Facebook, etc. It also provides a feature to set up multiple scenes for switching between different set-ups during recordings or live streaming. 

OBS has the ability to make professional quality videos without adding extra complexity. It can make a simple recoding with little set-up or you can make elaborate videos with chroma keying, Studio Mode, customizable transitions, etc.

Other Tools

Screencast-O-matic (Windows or Mac)

Screencast-o-matic has a free and paid version of the software, but the free tier satisfies most needs for a simple nonprofessional recording. The final video is saved as .mp4 and can be uploaded directly to YouTube.

The free version has a balance of features and ease of use, but caps users to 15 minute videos and puts a watermark on the lower left corner of the final video. 

The pro version (15$/yr) removes the watermark, provides access to editing tools, allows unlimited time on recordings, and allows recording of computer audio. 

Explain Everything for iPad

Explain everything is a screen capture tool for the iPad. It can record from within the app, but cannot record outside the app. You cannot record changing settings, doing anything in Safari, etc. However, you can import content from Evernote, Dropbox, Photos, etc. Check out this tutorial to learn more.

A work around for screen capturing throughout multiple apps on the iPad is to use Mirroring360 and Open Broadcaster Software on a desktop/laptop. After mirroring the iPad to to the desktop/laptop use Open Broadcaster Software to record that window. For more help contact the TTC.

This page is maintained by the Teaching & Technology Center. Send comments and suggestions to​. Last reviewed 07/24/18.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​