Website review by Amy Lauren Botula, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2021

Screencast-O-Matic

Create and edit sophisticated screencasts without breaking the bank

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 11 reviews
Privacy rating
66%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–12
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Paid versions are reasonable and include a full suite of editing tools.

Cons: It takes more time to create with this tool than competitors. Editing can feel particularly intensive.

Bottom Line: This is the most flexible screencasting tool, but it requires patience -- and perhaps a subscription -- to unlock all of its possibilities.

By producing your own screencasts with Screencast-O-Matic, you can communicate expectations, ideas, and assignments in a way that's palatable for both you and your students. Flip your classroom, provide video feedback on writing assignments, initiate 1-to-1 video conversations with students, or create your own Khan Academy-style videos, complete with drawing and narration. Students will like seeing your face and hearing the consistency of your explanations, and parents will be able to help their students without contradicting what the students learned in class. Involve parents further by replacing your traditional newsletter with a brief weekly video about class happenings, or a short daily "What did I miss?" screencast to keep absent kids in the loop. 

Student-produced screencasts are useful for everything from formative assessment to passion projects. For ELA or a foreign language, let students record a read-aloud and reflection to assess fluency and comprehension without putting them on the spot. In science, take the traditional lab sheet online by having kids record observations or explain a procedure for conducting an experiment. For presentations, consider a digital gallery walk through students' videos with opportunities to comment via your school's learning management system (LMS). However you use it, though, be sure to educate students about their digital footprint. Although users can choose not to make videos searchable, curiosity or human error might lead students to share videos publicly. It's best to remind students about the consequences of sharing personally identifiable information online.

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Screencast-O-Matic is a screen recorder that allows teachers and students to record, trim, edit, save, and share screencasts. With the free download, users can produce screencasts with or without a webcam and choose from options that include adding a description, assigning to a channel, or password-protecting the video. Those wanting to create more sophisticated videos may want to consider the Deluxe plan; cash-strapped teachers may find the $1.65-per-month price point doable, especially considering that it comes with a full editing suite, drawing tools, overlays, audio options, and longer recording times. There's also a Premier plan at $4.00 per month, which adds hosting and secure backup. Teachers can access their videos and launch the recorder or editor from the video hosting site. The editor is full of functionality, and once you get the hang of it, you can clip, modify, caption, and combine videos. There are also features like transitions and music that other tools don't have. If you leave out important details, you can create or import additional videos and drop them into an existing recording, so you won't have to start over. 

The platform also keeps growing. Recent additions include a free screenshot tool and, in the paid versions, sound effects, scripted recordings, a stock library (in beta), and a custom video player with controls.

Screencast-O-Matic's big differentiator from other screencasting tools is its depth. There are more features and functionality for making videos -- not just recordings -- whether for instructional purposes or for presentation and assessment. With Screencast-O-Matic, students can truly produce their own recordings, giving them a chance to show what they know and make thoughtful edits and modifications for clarity, correctness, and audience engagement. Screencast-O-Matic's editing tools allow students to clip, combine, or add to videos as well as add overlays, arrows, captions, and more before submitting. Students can even gain skills that'll translate to more sophisticated editing programs like Adobe Premiere.

Even if you don't want to dig fully into everything the tool has to offer, simple features like the screenshot tool support quick assessment opportunities. Taking a quick screenshot or doing an unedited screen recording is pretty easy and can offer a quick way to check student progress on an essay, report, or word problem.

The big downside with Screencast-O-Matic is that it requires both time and patience to make use of some of the tools, and it's not quite as simple and intuitive as competitors. The editing in particular, while full of features, can get frustrating. It strikes, at times, an awkward balance between simplicity and complexity -- not quite satisfying the expectations of either. If you take the time to work through these quirks, though, the videos you can make with Screencast-O-Matic will far outpace those made with other tools.

Overall Rating

Engagement

This tool can easily captivate students if they're producing the videos themselves, but they'll need the drive to figure out the relatively complex editing tools.

Pedagogy

Students can learn the whole process of video creation via Screencast-O-Matic's robust suite of features. 

Support

Setup is easy, and the user interface is functional although complex. Tutorials for features are a big plus. In the paid versions, there are options to add features that support students with unique needs.


Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Nellie D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Teaching as a Way to Learn
I have been using Screencast-o-matic (SOM) with teachers online in my Moodle training workshops for a number of years. My students create video tutorials using Screencast-o-matic. SOM provides students with a tool of communication and learning. They create video tutorials and publish the on Youtube, Google Drive, and on Vimeo. I love the ease of using the tool. I also use SOM to edit videos. I import videos from my phone or from online conferences and edit them. The drawing tools are probably my ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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