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Here’s an interesting new web resource – an online video creation tool called screencast-o-matic.  You can create a video recording of whatever you are doing on your screen and then upload it to the screencast site (free hosting) for viewing by others or export it to a QuickTime movie for yourself.  Best part is that it’s all free and there’s no software download required on your end.  The product is in beta right now, so I’m not sure if it’ll continue to be free – but right now it is. To get familiar with this, you can watch a demo of screencast at this demo site.  Here are a few tips, based on my first attempts: -watch the demo first (it’s short and gives you just what you need to know)-use the 800 x 600 size (gives you a better frames per second rate)- you can drag the screencast frame around on your screen to capture whatever it is you want to capture then hit the red button (bottom left) to begin recording-there is a 15 minute maximum recording time-you can pause whenever you want and replay it to check yourself-you can drag the slider bar along to go to a particular recorded segment-when you’re done click on the “X” button-export your screenscast to quicktime or upload it to the screen cast site.    Once you upload, they give you the url that your screencast has been uploaded to. From there, you can send that url to your future viewers via email, put it in your blog, or post it to your website. And here’s another useful feature of this tool –  you can provide notes to accompany your screen cast.  You can replay your screencast, pause it whenever you want, to insert a note.  The note you type in the “Notes” field will appear at that specific time in the cast to your viewers.  Think of adding tips to your students at various intervals (e.g. “This will be on the test next week.”  or “Remember to review the material in Chapter 13). You can also allow users to add their own notes to your screen cast.  Nice way for students to converse with each other, maybe on a group project?   I tried this myself and it was dead-easy.  Here’s a 3-minute screencast that I just made, showing how to create screengrabs in order to verify work done online:  Robin’s SampleScreencast 

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