Education is not static. It is alive and constantly evolving and it demands that we evolve along with it. This article compares screen capture software, a tech tool that is revolutionizing classrooms and online educational platforms, like Udemy. Web Courses Bangkok uses Adobe Captivate to build its e-courses. You can check out some of Carl’s tutorials on using Twitter, WordPress and Adobe Photoshop here.
Textbooks are old-school and standardized testing is lazy, (maybe that’s why it is so often used?). The skills students need are learnt by doing.
Screen capture software allows students to explore their individual interests, identify obstacles, and problem-solve a solution with the help of a skilled instructor.
I know, it sounds like a bubbly fantasy where unicorns frolic and students have limitless access to knowledge at their fingertips. What’s that you say? Students do have access to limitless knowledge at their fingertips?!
Yes, this is the 21st century and the internet is revolutionizing our entire approach to education. So let’s teach our students how to use the endless tools and resources of the internet to find their own answers, discover new problems to solve, and fuel the flames of lifelong learning.
Distance education has transformed dramatically from the snail-mail correspondence courses of the 19th century. Today, anyone can create educational content to instantly share worldwide on platforms like Udemy. Screen capture software is an excellent tool that allows learners all over the world to virtually sit down beside experts, see their computer screen, and listen to their work through a process.
But with so many different screen capture software options, how can you know which is right for you? This article will discuss several of the available software options that can help you bring your online training, lessons, and tutorials to the masses, like this.
Premium Software vs. Free Software for Udemy Courses?
Udemy requires that you record with at least video quality of 1080 x 720. All of the screen recorders listed below meet this minimum standard and therefore can be used to create a Udemy course.
There are many free screen capture software options as well as several premium options that can cost up to $499. However, the majority of the premium options are less than $100. First you need to consider what you plan to use this software for.
If you only intend to post some simple instructional videos to Youtube for anyone to view, you probably don’t need to pay for premium screen capture software. On the other hand, if you need more features because you want to make professional training videos to sell on platforms, like Udemy, then paying for a tool that has more features makes sense.
Keep in mind that Udemy requires that 60% of your course be in video format, so finding a screen capture software program that has the features and ease of use that you need is crucial.
One important thing to keep in mind is that some of the free tools are online only. Therefore, you will need to use an online converter to save your video as another file format and store in on your computer.
Even if you decide that you would prefer one of the premium software tools, don’t buy until you try! All of these programs offer a free trial period. Don’t spend your money until you have tested out a few of them and found one that meets your needs!
ActivePresenter (Windows only)
There are loads of post-recording features and editing tools
There is no time or size limit on recordings
There is not a watermark placed on your recording
It is fairly large at 40MB compared to other screen capture software
Several reviewers on other sites have complained of the software shutting down mid-recording. While we did not experience such an issue, it should still be mentioned as it was brought up fairly often.
We have updated this section to include the above software program that we recently tried out at the suggestion of one of the comments below called ActivePresenter and we felt it deserved a place on this list as one of the top contenders for free software for its rich features, editing tools, and unlimited recording time.
Camstudio (Windows only)
It is the most downloaded screen recording software out there.
It is very simple to use. Just a couple of clicks and you’re recording.
Ability to add captions or other annotations to your video
You can record audio right from your speakers
Records in Windows AVI files or Flash SWI
There is a 2GB file size limit
You will need to download additional software in order to edit the videos
The download often comes packaged with lots of malware and bloat
Camstudio is a popular free open-source screen capture software and recording tool that has over a million downloads. If you want to record your screen and not much else, this is an okay option as it is not loaded with tons of extra features. Unfortunately, many recent reviewers have claimed that their download came with unwanted malware and bloat and I, therefore, advise that you look elsewhere
Apowersoft (Windows & Mac)
Video editing features are built-in
It is an online tool, which saves you RAM
It’s easy to use. There is no setup.
There is no file size limit
You can save it in .PNG, .JPG, .BMP, .Tiff or .GIF formats
As an online tool, you cannot use it without an internet connection
Jing (Windows and Mac)
Very user friendly
Free 2 GB online storage from Screencast
There is a five minute recording limit
Video editing is not built in
Videos can only be saved in SWF format
Does not allow video annotation
Screencast-O-Matic (Windows or Mac)
Very user friendly
Can be used as an online application AND installed on your computer to use offline
Allows you to record in MP4, AVI or FLV file formats
15 minute time limit for recording
A watermark will appear on your presentation
There is no editing tool in the free version
Screenr (Windows or Mac)
Web based tool. No installation necessary.
Ease of use
Five minute limit for each recording
Uses only mp4 file format
Few additional features, such as editing tools
Quicktime Player (Mac only)
It is an included feature in Quicktime player, so if you’re a Mac user then you probably already have it.
It is simple to use
Can very easily be shared on video sharing sites
It is basic, so features are quite limited
No editing tools
Only saves in H.264 format
The winner in the freebie category is Apowersoft because of it has some of the key features that most users want from screen capture software, which are an editing tool, no limit on file size, and the ability to save in multiple file formats, and of course, ease of use. For the purpose of making a course for Udemy, Apowersoft would require that you convert your video from the online format to one that can be stored on your computer.
Even with this drawback, the editing tools and the ability to record any length of time still put this software at the front of the pack, especially since Udemy courses are typically between 30-60 minutes.
Some other options that have been recommended by several users for free screencast software:
- Icecream Screen Recorder
- Active Presenter
Premium (not free) Screen Capture Software
Snagit $45 (Windows or Mac)
Editing tools including the ability to change viewing perspective, add stamps, and add annotations.
No recording limit
Easy upload to Youtube and Google Drive
Many reviewers have complained of software instability and the removal of features in new versions.
ScreenFlow (Mac only) $99
Can record multiple sources simultaneously, such as screen and webcam.
Onboard editing tools
Zooming, cropping, and annotation options are all available
It will take a little time to learn how to use the various tools available in this software
CamVerce (Windows Only)
Can record from desktop or online sources
Can perform scheduled recordings
You can export to 11 different file formats including AVI, SWF, DOC and PPT
Onboard editing tools that include joining separate audio and video files.
The ability to draw on the screen while recording
There is no cropping or zoom tool
Does not have screenshot capability
Camtasia Studio (Windows only. There is a Macversion, but they are not equivalent software) $299
It is loaded with extra features like editing tools and a zooming feature
Offers scheduled recording
Can record video at 30 frames per second, which provides very smooth recordings.
The ability to crop a single point in the video
Can be saved in multiple file formats
Audio can be separated from video
The price. At $299, Camtasia is not for the casual screencaster.
Audio and video cannot be joined if recorded separately
It is not quite as simple to use as some of the very basic options
Camtasia quite easily is the most feature rich software of the bunch. It can produce professional results and has plenty of options. However, the price tag and the time that is required how to make use of all its features means that it is really only best for screencasters and educators who are tech savvy and want to make great quality videos. Otherwise, CamVerce is the more affordable, yet feature-rich choice for Windows users. If you’re a Mac user, it’s Screenflow all the way.
A few other premium software titles include:
- Fraps – $37
- Movavi Screen Capture Studio – $50
- CamVerce – $100
- Adobe Presenter – $500