Screencasting using Screencast-o-matic was actually pretty neat and pretty easy to use too. I had no issues with the website, software, or audio.
I can definitely see how teachers and students could use screencasting. The information I read about and the examples of Mathcasts that I looked at show how this tool would be extremely useful to a math teacher. Being able to show students how to solve math problems and also being able to have students show how they solve math problems in this format, which can be embedded onto a classroom website or wiki, allows for students and even parents to understand concepts learned at school. All too often, parents try to help their child with a math assignment at home, and they show their child a "different" way to do the work. Students get confused and frustrations arise. With an explanation of how to do the math concept readily available, this situation can be helped.
I really like the idea of students explaining something learned. I often have students help each other in the classroom because it allows them to learn from each other. Sometimes they learn better from each other than from only hearing and watching me teach them. Screencasting allows students to explain their way of doing something which in turn can help someone else understand.
As the fifth grade technology teacher at my school, I can see how creating screencasts on how to use applications and software can be useful. After students first listen and follow along to my instruction, if they need to be reminded of a step they may have forgotten, the screencast would be available for them to use. This helps me, and it also helps my students!
I believe screencasting could be used in any subject. Besides math and technology instruction, it would lend itself well to history or geography. Students could show movement of people throughout history with maps, images, and links done in a Powerpoint. Science screencasts could also be created in Powerpoint with images and diagrams to show a subject being learned.
Now that I've created my first screencast, I am sure to use it in my classroom instruction!