As we started the new school year, I got several questions about adding a PowerPoint (or other presentation software) with voice over to a course/YouTube for free/cheap easily and of good quality. I’ve talked about video before, but feel it is a good idea to visit again. Here are some options that are available to you:
- SnagIt – A great little program from TechSmith, the creators of Camtasia. SnagIt costs $29 for educators and is a quick easy download. SnagIt is easy to use for screen capturing and has an editor as well as 2GB of space online for hosting your presentations if you’d rather not use YouTube or have another resource. I use SnagIt a lot and find it to be reliable, easy and the results are of good quality. SnagIt will also capture videos, and images. You may also want to try TechSmith Fuse, the SnagIt mobile app for iPhone and Android that allows you to send images directly to the SnagIt editor. A lot of bang for your buck.
- Jing – If you have a quick little presentation (5 minutes or less) and no money, you can use Jing, also by TechSmith. It’s a free, light version of SnagIt, although I highly recommend getting SnagIt, sometimes you just can’t spend the money.
- Zoom – If you are lucky, like we are at UNH, to have access to Zoom, it is a quick, easy way to create a video of your presentation. Simply start a meeting of one. Share your desktop and open your presentation (PowerPoint, or any other program). Start recording. Please note – use a headset. It will keep out extraneous noise and give your voice over a better quality. Also, click the drop down arrow next to video and look at your settings. One option, is to check the “touch up my appearance” button. It does a nice little job of making your image/face/document look better. Give it a try and see what you think. Once you’ve finished, the recording will be converted to a WMV file and you can place it on YouTube or another location of your choice. If you want it online but not something everyone will see, try un-checking public and choosing unlisted. Doing so keeps the video from showing in your playlist, but allows anyone with the URL to open it without password protection.
- Adobe Spark Video – I’ve told you about Spark in previous posts, but as with SnagIt, it’s worth repeating and did I mention that it is free? It’s easy to use, has templates, fonts, images, clipart and background music are available for free and the audio is easy to use. Rather than go through all the features, here’s a YouTube video on how to create a presentation with Spark Video:
The only issue you might have is that it is an online program, so you need access to online to create. You can save the file as an MP4 though, so you don’t need to be online if you are presenting it or need to upload it for a class. It also doesn’t upload PowerPoint presentations, so if you have a presentation you want to convert, this isn’t the program for you, at least not for this project.
- Icecream Screen Recorder – This program is a lot like SnagIt. It has a free version, but it is limited to 10 minutes and limited functionality and not available for commercial use. The Pro version allows unlimited time, multiple output formats (free only allows WEBM) and the cost is $29.95 for two lifetime copies, which is a very nice deal. Try the free version to see what you think before committing any cash.
- Ezvid Video Maker – Another great screen recorder that produces good quality video and this one is freeware. The only real issue with this software is the output goes directly to YouTube, so you need to plan on an online presence. Check out this video on how to use the software.
Next week, I will give you some ideas on other presentation software, but ones that, like Spark Video, don’t upload PowerPoint presentations, so you would use them to create new presentations. I will also be in New Orleans at a conference and hope to come home with some tips and tricks to share with all you online teachers.
In the meantime, check out some of the above mentioned software and let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.