Screencasting Tools: Camtasia vs. Screencast-O-Matic


Recording your computer screens into a digital video (screencasting) for class tutorials can come in handy when flipping the classroom.  You can record yourself using an online tool, reciting a presentation, or guide students through a website.  You can even record streaming video online – though you will still have to follow copyright rules when recording online video.  This post will compare two popular screencasting tools: Camtasia (which cost money) and Screencast-O-Matic (free).

Camtasia allows you to create more professional screencast videos by letting you edit your footage when you are done recording.  HPU IT has licenses for Camtasia, but they are limited, so to get this program on your computer you might have to purchase it or go to a Media Lab on campus.  HPU Libraries Media Services has an extensive Camtasia tutorial online and the software is available in our Media Lab on the first floor of Smith Library.


Above is a screenshot of the editing board in Camtasia.  It is similar to video editors such as iMovie and Movie Maker, but it contains tools that better work with tutorials.  You can add effects such as text, arrows, highlighting items, images, and more.  You can cut out unwanted sections of tutorials and enhance and add audio.  You can then export your video file into MP4 and other common digital video formats.

Screencast-O-Matic is a free online tool that also records your computer screen into a digital video for up to 15 minutes.  The main differences between this tool and Camtasia is that you have to work on one video at a time and it does not give you as many editing options.  But it is possible to work around these restrictions by making and exporting multiple videos.  You can then upload the segments into a video editor (such as iMovie or Movie Maker) to combine footage or add text, audio, and other effects.

See below for a chart of differences and advantages of each program:


For more information about tools at HPU to help you flip the classroom, check out our presentation on Flipped Classrooms: Creating Your Own Content:

As always, feel free to contact me at with any questions or concerns about this post.

Post by Samantha Harlow, Media & Digital Resource Librarian, High Point University

Featured image partially taken from

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