I learned a lot about screencasting as a Web 2.0 tool including how it could be used for education. This assignment required that a tutorial be constructed using ScreenToaster, a Web 2.0 tool for creating a screencast and then be uploaded onto YouTube where it could be viewed and shared. I always wanted to learn how to use Camtasia, a software screencasting program that is quite expensive. Camtasia was the package used by educators before all the free Web 2.0 applications became available. In looking at the resource material provided I was surprised at how many free Web 2.0 tools are available for screencasting. I had used Jing in a previous class and found it to be very easy to use; however, there is a five minute limit on the free version. Other than that I did not experience with others tools. The assignment was supposed to use ScreenToaster. The day I went to do my project, ScreenToaster was down. It was later discovered that they were converting it to paid product and would no longer be free. This is the downside of using free Web 2.0 tools in addition to there usually being some restrictions on the free version of the tool. I decided to complete the project using ScreenCastle. There really was not much to learn about this tool as it so easy. I did my screencast on setting up a network using Ning. I simply pressed a button and starting talking and moved from screen to screen. The next part was to upload the screencast to YouTube. I already had a YouTube account so it just a matter of uploading the video. YouTube takes care of file conversion and everything else. All in all the process was very easy. Here is my video:
There are many educational uses for this tool. It allows teachers and instructors to create tutorials for students. For example, I used to teach Microsoft Office and definitely could have used it to demonstrate various Excel, Word and Access features for my students. Most students have the same issues with aspects like formulas so it makes sense to produce a video and have students watch it. The video can also be placed on a Website, blog or Wiki for students to access. I think this is a great tool that is so easy for any teacher or instructor to use and sharing on YouTube is a piece of cake!!!