What I Use:

  • I use Camtasia Mac for screen capture and movie editing. This is a great program and gives me more control over everything than iMovie but is far simpler than something like Final Cut.
  • Sankore is what I use for annotating on my screen. It works really well and even has some pressur sensitivity for the pen. If you're new to all this you can actually use this program for screen capture as well. It won't let you edit videos, but once captured you could bring your video into iMovie or Windows MovieMaker for editing.
  • Even though I'm on a Mac I find a Windows machine to use Super when I need to do some sort of specific video conversion. It just works really well and I already know how to use it. I guess I'm getting old.

Other software I have used:

Video Editing/Capture

  • iMovie - Great program, comes standard on every Macintosh computer. Allows for editing of video and creation of dynamic slide shows. Can capture from webcam or from a camera plugged into the firewire port.
  • Camtasia Mac - This has replaced iMovieHD for me. It allows for screen recording as well as video editing. You can also do picture in picture and multi-track video editing. Not free, but well worth the $99 price tag. Keep your eye on TeacherTechBites and/or the Michigan Learning section of iTunesU for some Camtasia Mac tutorials.
  • Windows Movie Maker - Free program in Windows. If you have at least service pack 2 in Windows XP you already have it. Easy editing of videos. Can capture from webcam or from a camera plugged into the firewire port. The version with Windows7 allows you to import .mov and .mp4 videos. If you're using WinXP you'll have to convert these formats to wmv before you can edit them.
  • Windows Photostory - Free program you can download from Microsoft. Lets you create dynamic slide shows like you can in iMovie.
  • Camtasia Studio - Windows video editor/screencasting software from TechSmith. I've not used it much, but it comes highly recommended from people I trust.
  • JayCut - It went away and now it's back and it's better than ever! Two video tracks, Green Screen, Speed up or Slow down videos. No software to install, do it all on the web.
  • DVDFlick - Free DVD authoring software for Windows. You can use this to create DVDs that will play in a DVD player attached to a TV. If your students will simply be playing videos on a computer then you don't need to do this.


Screencasting involves capturing everything you see on your monitor. You might want to do this in order to teach a skill on a computer or you might capture a powerpoint presentation. Most sceencapturing utilities will also record audio.
  • Camstudio - Free program for Windows. I haven't used this in a couple of years and I may want to give it another look. It will save in avi or swf formats. It will allow you to put text or other annotations on your video after you're done in case you need to highlight something.
  • TipCam - This is the one I use. It is very easy and works well. It will save in *.avi or *.flv. I typically save in *.flv format as this is the same format used for streaming video from the net, this means some video sites will do no conversion after you upload it. So, however it looks on your screen it will look the same when streamed from the net.
  • Jing - Very easy to use program. There are Mac and Windows versions. Will only record videos 5 min in length or shorter. Saves in *.swf format only.
  • iShowU - This is the program I use on my Mac. It's not free, but is pretty cheap ($20). It works very well.
  • Berio - Free screencasting for Mac Leopard. I haven't played much with it, other than to confirm that it works. I only recently put Leopard on my Macbook. It is a very small app and saves *.mov files.
  • QuickTime - Mac only. If you have OS 10.5 or later you can record your screen using QuickTime.
  • Sankore - Built right into this awesome program is the ability to record the screen and audio form a microphone. Runs on both Mac and Windows.
  • Jing - Made by the people who make Camtasia. Easy to use (Mac and Windows). Save files up to 5 minutes in length. Upload to, which has both free and paid versions for hosting. Saves is *.swf format making it hard (impossible?) to edit later.
  • Screencast-o-Matic - Nothing to Install, runs as a web application, can export as *.mov files. Up to 15 min in length (with free hosting)
  • - Windows only, free hosting of screencasts made with their program (which is an add on for Windows Media Encoder)

Get it in the Format you Want

Most free video programs are very limited in what formats they will export to. So, you'll probably need to either buy an expensive video creation program or learn to use free programs to convert your video into your desired format.
  • Super - This is the program I use most often. It is free and will convert just about any format into any other format. It looks scary, but is really fairly easy to use. There are lots of preset options to choose from.
  • Most people just talk about ZamZar whenever they have a file to convert to a different format. This site works with more than just videos. I recommend having a program on your own computer for converting video. That way you don't have to wait for the file to upload to ZamZar, then wait for the conversion, and then download the file again. But, I also understand that you may not have the ability to install software on the computer in your classroom. I think ZamZar will also allow you to grab YouTube videos.


MetaTags are information about your file that are stored as a part of the file. For example, most digital cameras will record what the setings used to take your pictures were. You may want to edit your tags. This is not really necessary, it's like the icing. I use a free program called Mp3Tag to do this. Or you can bring your files into iTunes and add your meta tag information.