In my previous post, I talked about Voice Thread and a little bit about Camtasia, but I did not go into depth as to what I liked about both software and what I thought of them. Let me start by saying that on the surface they seem very similar but they are not. Sure they both can do screencasting, but how one can use them is different.
Voice Thread is a wonderful tool when you want to start a conversation with your students or get the course to be more interactive as online courses can seem static, cold, and impersonal. For the past few weeks, I have been using Voice Thread to talk about what we are doing for the week and my students have been responding in a very positive way to my Voice Threads so I am planning on using this tool to do class discussions and a couple of assignments. I think that when I think of Voice Thread the word personal comes to mind. In a way, it recreates the in-class room interaction between the instructor and the students, which is something that has been missing in an online classroom.
So here is an example of Voice Thread for ESL students discussing the infinitive and the gerund: https://voicethread.com/about/library/infinitive_or_gerund/
On the other hand, Camtasia which is created by TechSmith is an amazing software if you want to create professional screencasts or lessons. Unlike Voice Thread which is a tool that allows you to do more of in the moment type activities it does not allow you to edit and fine tune your work like Camtasia does. Camtasia is a lot more complex than Voice Thread but worth learning to use if you want to produce online lectures and quizzes.Here is a video of what Camtasia is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGzYeh5lp54&feature=youtu.be
Having said that, I think Camtasia and Voice Thread are both worth knowing how to use as they fulfill a different aspect of e-learning. I am planning on continuing to use both kinds of software in my courses in order to create a multidimensional experience in my online lessons in order to keep my students learning and moving forward with their education.