How to create an engaging lesson using Screencast-O-Matic

As librarians, we often have the difficult task of keeping our students engaged during presentations about technology resources and books. Yes, our kids want to explore and read, but the library is sometimes seen as “boring”. Engaging an entire audience of students is tough in person, now imagine trying to keep students engaged in a virtual classroom! Looking out over the crowd, you may see students staring at you as if you were Charlie Brown’s teacher (wah wah wah wah wah). Enter Screencast-O-Matic, a website and Chrome add-on that allows you to record lessons directly from your screen with very little tech. Read on to find out how to create an engaging lesson using Screencast-O-Matic.

Whether you are teaching 100% virtually or sending out videos for classroom teachers to share with their students, Screencast-O-Matic is one tech tool every librarian can use. One of the coolest things about a virtual classroom setting is all the tech tools you can use and Screencast-o-matic is one of those cool tools! It is a video creation tool that is user friendly, has multiple recording options, and it’s free!

Tech Novice Tool for Screencast-O-Matic

One of the biggest benefits of Screencast-O-Matic is how user-friendly it is. You do not need to be a tech wiz to implement it, which means teachers and students can use it. Our elementary students learn a lot about technology by doing, and of course they love recording themselves! This is the perfect educational video tool where they can complete a project, a presentation, record a speech or an essay, collaborate with classmates, and share ideas. There are so many options with one tool! Screencast-O-Matic also works on all devices; from Android to Apple, to Chromebook and more! 

It’s super easy to get started. Simply add the Chrome extension to your browser or sign up via their website. Your school tech administrator may need to allow the extension for student access. However, students do not need the extension to view your screencasts. 


Recording Options

One of the many benefits of Screencast-O-Matic is the recording options. Start by going to the button at the top of your browser and click “Launch Recorder”. 


You’ll then click the dialogue box to allow for recording. Then, you can go back to the website to click the button to record. You will not have to allow for set-up in the future. 

You can record your webcam, just the screen, or both at the same time. This is great for those students or teachers that do not like seeing themselves on camera. Here comes the engaging part! Pair it with a PowerPoint or Google Slideshow, a whiteboard app, or a green screen, and it’s as if you are live in the library with students. 


Now comes the real fun! The lesson, the knowledge you are about to drop on your students! You can capture any part of your screen, use the pointer and annotation tools, add narration through the computer audio or a microphone, and  play academic videos on your computer while recording the screen. There are so many options you can use in the library with students. 

Library Video Options

Welcome Video

When you first introduce Screencast-o-matic, create a welcome video. Your welcome video can be a simple one time introduction of who you are or what the library offers.  

Book Talks

Get online and show your students how to access certain electronic titles or read reviews. You can even share a YouTube video of a Book Talk then chat about what you or other students loved about the title.

Research Lessons

Part of your role as a librarian is to help students learn how to use the internet, books, and databases for research. Create a screencast showing them how to easily access these resources from home or school.

Student Use with Screencast-O-Matic

In addition to sharing your own lessons via Screencast-O-Matic, engage your learners and let them create their own videos. First, start with a welcome video or a quick lesson on how to Screencast-O-Matic. Once they see how simple it is, you’ve got them! If they can figure out how to edit a TikTok video, then Screencast-o-matic will be a breeze! 

Students can use Screencast-O-Matic for many different library and curricular related assignments.

Help students share their stories and papers by creating a Screencast-O-Matic video of their writing process. This is also a fantastic tool for artists to showcase their work. In addition, math students can highlight their problem-solving process. The possibilities are endless. Share these ideas with staff. 

Additional Benefits of Screencast-O-Matic

  • Videos can be downloaded to your computer or hosted on the site. 
  • Students can access the lesson at any time.
  • Remediation- Students can watch it over and over again.
  • Review- Students can watch it for review.
  • Record in multiple languages.
  • Upgrade to get all the bells and whistles for less than the cost of decorating your classroom!

Screencast-O-Matic has been such an awesome tool during remote learning, and it’s certainly something you can continue to use as a librarian to put out content and lessons for staff and students all year long. How will you use Screencast-O-Matic in the library? 

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