Screencasts for Moodle on Mac: easy and (almost) free using H5P

Producing screencasts (for Moodle or WordPress) on Mac is done (according to my readings) often using established tools like Camtasia. After looking at the price tags I decided to look for something better and cheaper.

There are three main requirements:

  1. Record my screen together with my webcam. Output preferably MP4.
  2. Do some (pretty simple) edits like cutting. No more effects necessary.
  3. Present with some annotations like texts, direct attention.

With the latest H5P plugins for Moodle step three can be done very nicely and easily (and free). Only requirement: MP4 and WEBM format video files. So the only thing you need is a tool to make recordings – no sophisticated editor is needed. If you are looking for a completely free method you could use (OS X system) quicktime player and ffmpeg for conversion (which works even in batch mode but is a little bit slow!).

As a matter of fact I am using AceThinker Screengrabber Pro which does two tasks excellently: it records to MP4 with a freely sizeable webcam along and it enables conversion to webm-format. Both formats are needed for H5P interactive video: this can be edited within Moodle without any additional software giving possibilities not easily found in standard video editors.

Take this example (just a quick try – no sophistication):

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[…] needs of this group of students — and is recorded (in case of a screencast just by using e.g. BigBlueButton without any additional effort; a simple mobile phone could be enough for a teachers […]