Transform your PowerPoint into a PowerCast using Camtasia!

Transform your PowerPoint into a PowerCast using Camtasia!

Today’s guest blogger is Michael F. Ruffini, Ed.D.! Michael is a Professor of Educational Technology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate educational technology courses in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Michael wrote a fantastic book on communication and learning through screencasts called PowerCasts – Creating Dynamic PowerPoint Screencasts with Camtasia Studio. He has also been published on The Educause Review twice, for articles titled Screencasting to Engage Learning and Creating a PowerPoint Screencast Using Camtasia Studio. For more information on his work, visit his website, The Teacher Cast Academy, or send him a note at mruffini(at)bloomu(dot)edu

Driven by significant advances in digital technologies, today videos are much easier to access – whether it be by the Web or mobile devices. Because video is so ubiquitous, it is an invaluable educational tool. Video is revolutionizing the way we teach and learn and is a powerful medium used extensively today in both eLearning and mLearning. For example, online resources, such as TeacherTube, Khan Academy, and YouTube provide thousands of streaming educational video clips for teachers to use in their lessons.

Communication through the use of video can bring lessons to life, initiate discussions, and impact learning on both an emotional and cognitive level. Video can illustrate complex, or abstract concepts, take students anywhere around the world, go back in time, explore beneath the oceans, take a look into a cell, and travel to the moon and beyond! Digital video is revolutionizing the way students learn.

Research that supports teachers using video in their instruction finds students retain more information, understand concepts more rapidly, and are more enthusiastic about what they are learning. For example, here are a few research findings – The integration of educational video, aligned with lesson objectives, is a way to get students interested and motivated about their subject matter (O’Hagan, 2001). Cherrett, Wills, Price, Maynard, & Dror (2009), found that viewing a video and using the content to solve a problem can foster deep learning and promote student curiosity. One major use of video is to motivate students to want to discover and explore information on a topic (Mitra, Lewin-Jones, Barrett, & Williamson, 2010). Ljubojevic, Vaskovic, Stankovic, and Vaskovic (2014), found that students’ motivation and efficiency of learning is increased if video clips are used in lecture presentations, because students can better understand and retain important points.

For many teachers searching and prescreening videos that align to specific lesson objectives can be a very time-consuming task. Teachers can spend countless hours sieving through online educational video clips. Therefore, teacher-created screencast videos are a much better way to ensure that lesson objectives, goals, and standards are met. However, creating your own videos can also take time to create from scratch.

Teacher created PowerPoint presentations are easy to create and can be aligned to content lesson standards and objectives. Camtasia Studio® enables you to record a PowerPoint presentation, add narration, import camera and/or YouTube video, add music, images, and sound effects, and publish the presentation as an MP4 video to share with any audience. The PowerPoint serves as the core for the video project. The end product is a dynamic and powerful eLearning tool – a PowerCast!

Students come to my educational technology classes with a variety of technology skill sets. My first assignment is creating a PowerCast video. Students create a PowerPoint presentation in their content area, record the presentation using Camtasia, and add narration, sound effects and a video clip. My students are amazed how easy and professional the exported MP4 video looks. Students have complete control of the video, which means they can stop, pause, or rewind any part of the presentation as needed. Students really enjoy watching and presenting their videos to the class.

A PowerCast video can facilitate learning across any curriculum area, accommodatePowercast any learning style, and can be used as a part of real-time instruction, or as the lesson itself, as in the flipped teaching method.

In my book, “PowerCasts – Creating Dynamic PowerPoint Screencasts with Camtasia Studio”, a step by step approach is used in creating a PowerCast video project using the PowerCast Multimedia Model (PMM). The PowerCast Multimedia Model (PMM) provides a framework to use in creating a PowerCast. The PMM design steps include: (1) Introduction Bumper (2) Content PowerPoint (3) Content Video Clip (4) Credits (5) End Bumper and (6) Assessment.

An example of the PMM Model – The Planets


Using a PowerPoint as the framework for your video has many benefits which include: (1) the framework of video is already completed, (2) objectives and standards are aligned to content, (3) video adds a new dimension to teaching and learning because they are motivational, multimodal, and engaging, (4) can be used as a supplement to a lesson or as the lesson itself, as in the flipped teaching model. If you haven’t tried creating a PowerCast using Camtasia, take the plunge and give it a try. I guarantee a PowerCast will be a part of your technology toolbox!

Video Educational Website Resources


Cherrett, T., Wills, G., Price, J., Maynard, S., & Dror, I. E. (2009). Making training more cognitively effective: Making videos interactive. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40:1124–1134.

Ljubojevic,M., Vaskovic, V., Stankovic, S., & Vaskovic, J. (2014). Using supplementary video in multimedia instruction as a teaching tool to increase efficiency of learning and quality of experience. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(5) 276-291.

O’Hagan, C. (2001). Using video to support learning. Retrieved from id450_using_video_to_support_learning.pdf

Mitra, B., Lewin-Jones, J., Barrett, H., & Williamson, S. (2010). The use of video to enable deep learning. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15(4), 405-414.

Posted in For Educators

TechSmith is thrilled to work with talented guest bloggers to bring valuable and interesting content to readers. Have a topic suggestion? Tweet us @TechSmith!