Friday, September 3, 2010

Screen Casts in Action!

I know you're probably all too familiar with some of these valid, yet annoying questions from students when you're running a tutorial:
Mr., what did you do again? Which button did you click on?
Where can I find the brush options?
What did you drag on to?
Let's face it. Teaching tech can be tough to differentiate when many of the tasks are just routine button clicking. If we slow down, our more tech savvy students get bored. If we go faster, well, we'll lose the others!!

Wouldn't it be amazing if our instruction could be like a TiVO, where students can pause, play, and rewind our instructions at their own speed and leisure?

Yes! There is a solution! SCREENCASTING! :)

Here's a great example from Peter Varley at Animo Inglewood.

And here's one I did for my class. There's no sound on this tutorial. I used it as a supplement and review to already presented tutorial...I wanted to get students to talk and ask each other...well, you get the point :)

Some of the benefits of Screen Casting include:
  • Great for teaching technology: Complicated keystrokes, tasks, etc.
  • Students can follow tutorials at their own pace.
  • Students can review tutorials at home or anywhere there is an internet connection.
  • Can be used during office hours or as a "make-up" class.
  • Frees up teacher time to spend with struggling students as needed.
So where can I get some Screen Casting software? 

Here's my favorite (PC Only). It's free and it's OPEN SOURCE! So download it, make a donation, and support Open Source software!

Unfortunately, for the MAC, I've not found any great free screencast software. If you run into something, mac people, please comment below! :) For now, there's Copernicus. The only bummer is it doesn't record sound.

Then there's the JING project (PC and MAC) which is both client and web-based. You record videos using the client, upload them into the JING website for hosting, and use the options on JING to distribute your screencasts to your viewers. It's kind of cool! Yet, maybe too many features for some of us.

Check it OUT! Want to see some great Screen Casts used in Instruction? This guy's on fire! Check out Peter Varley's VIMEO site here:

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