Computer for Creation and Editing

Wacom Tablet

I use this to allow me to write on the screen. It's great for screencasting. I can circle important points or work problems in a very natural way. I bought mine on ebay for $35. You can also get a pretty good USB tablet from Amazon for around $60. Once you have your tablet you'll need to write on the screen:
  • SmoothDraw - I've not personally tried this one. But it is the program used by Sal Khan. (Windows, .NET)
  • Sankore - This is the program I use. It is fairly awesome! Formerly know as UniBoard, Sankore is a great compliment to a tablet or even a DIY interactive whiteboard. (Windows and OS X, but not 10.10)
  • ZoomIt - It allows you to easily zoom in on a portion of the screen or make on screen annotations. (Windows)
  • Sketchpad3 - This is just a simple sketchpad, but if you just want a plain background with writing it'll do. It runs in a web browser so even works on a Chromebook.


If you're recording using webcam or screen-capture software then you probably want a microphone to plug into your computer. Most laptops have a microphone built in but their position is not ideal. They often pick up a lot of sound from the computer's fan or from typing. You can get microphones for pretty cheap (under $10). If you have a little extra I'd go for a USB microphone, they tend to have a better audio quality. This is not a necessity however, I went for a couple years with a $6 microphone. To the right you can see a video I made several years ago comparing a couple microphone options.

While you don't need it, you might want to spend a little on your microphone. I really like my USB Logitech headset. The audio quality is good and it's always the right distance from your mouth and I get virtually no pops. Lately I've been using my Guitar Hero microphone. It sounds good, but I have to be careful to avoid popping on my p's. This one was basically free. I just have to remember to hook it back up to the Wii before I try to play. You can get one for pretty cheap.

Screen Capture

  • Camtasia - Screen capture and video editing software by TechSmith. This is paid software so be sure you find the educational pricing on TechSmith's website. Camtasia Studio for Windows costs $179 and Camtasia Mac costs $75. I really like Camtasia and think it is worth it if you plan to make a lot of videos. You can also get a fully functional trial good for 30 days to see if it's right for you. When I create videos on my laptop I use Camtasia Mac. (Win, Mac)
  • QuickTime Player - If you have Mac OSX you can use QuickTime to record your screen. Just select "New Screen Recording" from the file menu. When done you can also trim your video to remove the beginning and/or end bits. (Mac)
  • VLC - Apparently you can use the popular, free video playing program to capture your screen. (Win)
  • Screencast-o-Matic - This is a cloud based service for recording your screen. It is very easy to use and the free version lets you record up to 15 minutes at a time. As it turns out you should probably keep your videos shorter than this anyway. You can also pay $59/year and record any length and output in HD. (Win, Mac)
  • Open Broadcaster Software - This is a new one for me. Not only can you record, but you can also stream your desktop. Free and Opensource (Win, Mac, Linux)
  • Screencastify - This one seems to be one of the most popular ways to screencast from a Chromebook. It's a Chrome extension, so should actually work with anything running Google Chrome. Create 10 minute screen casts for free. You can also pay 20 euros to remove limit and watermark.