30 May

Finally! Screen recording (including audio) in your post-2013 MS PowerPoint!

Teaching Computing keeps you on your toes, doesn’t it? There is always something new, either a new piece of software, a new curriculum point, or even you discovering a better way of doing things.

I had always wished there was an easy way to produce videos of the screen that can be shared via a variety of media. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video can often be worth a hundred images, at least. As an enormous quantity of tutorial videos on Youtube indicate, people love learning from videos. While there is always a useful video, whether coming from the British masters Craig and Dave, or a drone-like American professor talking over “Computers 100 for non—majors” course notes, it is much better and time efficient to make your own videos. Even if it is just summarising the content of another video (with attribute, of course), relating the skill to the spec, or putting your school on the national map, it’s hard not to see the advantages. Pupils can use videos to illustrate testing of their programs negating the need for multiple screenshots, and of course, we are always keen to tap into their potential by giving homework to produce tutorial videos – just think of the possibilities!  The motivation to contribute to the social media in the most productive way is just the beginning of it.

I always tended to use Camstudio, a free package (not to be confused with Camtasia, which is not) but it has issues with locked down networks.  Likely, any Microsoft Office PowerPoint, from 2013 Service Pack 2, has an ability to record video of a screen area that you specify. It will record the audio that’s playing through your computer’s speakers, as a bonus (it will give you another opportunity to talk about copyright infringement). The resulting video is automatically embedded in your slide (older PowerPoint might wonder about QuickTime codecs), or exported as an MP4 for universal distribution. Of course, your favourite PowerPoint transitions and animations will also be exported to video!

See here how to do it!

You can import this into any video editing program, iMovie or Microsoft MovieMaker to do some additional editing. If you don’t like the sound of your voice, use this website to generate speech from your text and add it as a sound effect to your captured video in the movie editing package.

You can, of course, grab screen stills, as well, from the same menu.


I can hear your thoughts and ideas appearing for all of the wonderful purposes you can put this to. How about a video explaining how to log in? A summary of network resources available? Feedback on the recent test, featuring the funniest answers?

This is also suitable for flipped lessons – handy for when you are not timetable enough lessons to teach the great volume of material required.

Does your school have a Youtube channel? Maybe it’s time it did?

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