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Tips and Tricks - Screencast-O-Matic
Tips and Tricks for using Screencast-o-matic, especially for classroom or online teaching use. Just remember PETS.

Quick Links to Sections in this Article:
Preparation
Equipment
Timeliness
Screen

Preparation

Use a ScriptIf you want to avoid "ums" and "ahs" in your recording as well as structure it appropriately, it is recommended that you type a script before recording. Writing out what you want to say avoids confusion and the need to think on your feet in the middle of a recording. It can also help you sound more professional and organize your thoughts concisely.Silence is GoldenTry to limit background noise by closing doors and politely alerting those with offices or rooms near you that you will be recording with audio so that loud noises can be avoided. By prepping for silence before you record, you also get yourself in the mindset of wanting to sound professional.
Equipment

MicrophonesIf you want to sound professional, purchase a microphone. Even if there is not background noise, your voice may sound distorted or unnatural when using a built-in mic on a laptop. Most desktops do not have built-in mics. They can be purchased as an inclusion on a headset or as a stand alone.HeadsetsAlthough you do not need headphones or a headset to use screencast-o-matic, it is recommended that you use one during your recording. This can help limit distractions by muffling background noise and help when listening to your playback.WebcamsIf you plan on using a webcam so that you can be seen onscreen during your recording, you can use the built-in one on your computer or you can purchase one. You can also rent microphones, headsets, and webcams from the ITS Help Desk in Nicarry 125.


Timeliness

Keep It Short and SweetVideos are most well received when they do not exceed 5 minutes playing time. A maximum of 7 minutes is recommended for all recordings and screencast-o-matic does not allow you to record for longer than 15.SectionsIf you have too much information to cut it down to 7 minutes or less, consider breaking up your video into sections or parts. Not only does this make lots of information more palatable, it also gives viewers time for the information to sink before they start the next section.
Screen

They See What You SeeIf you are showing something on your screen while recording, make sure to close any programs in the background. If you can see something in your recording screen, so can the viewers. It is highly recommended that you close any programs other than those used in the recording.Screensavers and BackgroundsBefore beginning your recording, make sure that your screensaver or background is appropriate and nondescript. If you do not want pictures of your family, pets, etc. viewable, change the screensaver or background to a nondescript image such as the Elizabethtown logo.

Most sections adapted from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/simple-screencasting-tips.

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