Screencasting is the generic term for making a video out of the action occurring on the computer screen, together with a voiceover narration, and publishing it for viewing or downloading by others (think podcasting or broadcasting, with the screen activity as the output).
Common example screencasts include demonstrations such as showing how to navigate through a website or database, or how to perform a specific task in Excel. Because screencasts can be made in a modular fashion, they are often kept short and used as "job aids" to help users perform specific functions. That way, they only click to view a screencast if they are otherwise stuck.
As a concept, screencasting can include capturing PowerPoint lectures, though the term more generally means making a video of anything on screen. There are specific tools optimized for making PowerPoint videos in our discussion of flipping the classroom.
One ideal tool for short (15 minute) screencasts is the free program Screencast-O-Matic, available for PC or Mac. Or try www.jingproject.com – note that Jing has a five minute maximum recording time.
Designed primarily as a means to record live lectures so they could be heard again (or heard by someone who had to miss class), Panopto works best with PowerPoint capture and audio when using a microphone. Other options are available, such as recording the action on the computer screen, or the video feed from a webcam. The various streams can be captured individually or in a "mix and match" fashion. Students access the videos by clicking on a single URL provided by the instructor.
Panopto is free for all USF faculty to use (in Canvas, it is deployed as an LTI, or external tool, in Modules). However, only some classrooms have been equipped with portable (lavaliere or lapel) microphones. Faculty are free to install Panopto to run on their personal desktops or laptops. Panopto is one tool that can be used for flipping the classroom, though there are other free tools as well.