Screencasting means recording your computer screen as you do something. There are many uses! I create screencasts then add them to Blackboard to “show” students how to do something. These days I mostly use Camtasia since UAA has it available on the keys server. It works great and even allows you to highlight your mouse or zoom in at the right times. From there you can upload it to YouTube or “produce” it in many different formats. Ben Chadwick, UAA’s video expert, suggests producing videos in MOV format at 320 X 240 for uploading to Blackboard. You can then use the Add Quicktime Content to embed your video in a Blackboard item.
Here is an article that compares some popular free screencasting tools: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/01/comparing-12-free-screencasting-tools/. I often have my students use Screenr or Screenjelly (which only allow short videos). I recently had my Photoshop students create screencasts to demonstrate a Photoshop technique and they loved it! Here is one example: