Meaningful Meanderings

Chris Mark's Blogfolio

Jing – a Great Screen Capture Program November 26, 2010

Filed under: online teaching,Teaching with Technology,Web 2.0 — Christine Mark @ 8:57 am
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I used Jing to create a screen capture.  Jing is free Web 2.0 tool designed by TechSmith, the same company that sells Camtasia, the popular, powerful screen capturing tool.  Users have to sign up for a Jing account to use the screencasting software.  There is a free and premium version.  Both versions limit videos to five minutes.  For $14.95 per year users can purchase Jing Pro.  With Jing Pro, you can upload straight to YouTube and Facebook with just a click. Plus, Jing uses the MPEG-4 AVC video format, which works seamlessly with other video sharing sites.

Jing takes a picture or video of the user’s computer screen and then uploads it to the Web or a computer.  A URL is automatically created and then can be shared with others to view the file.  Jing is compatible with Windows and Mac.

I choose to demonstrate how students access Blackboard and my website.  This proved to be timely as I teach BA 100, Introduction to Business which is taught the second eight weeks of the semester.  The class was just starting and I needed a way of communicating how a student could access the course materials and post to a discussion forum.  I demonstrated using Jing how a student would sign into Blackboard and then once in Blackboard how to access the course website to review the course syllabus and course materials.  I also demonstrated how a student would open the first discussion requiring them to write and post their bio.  This short demo proved to be very helpful to my BA 100 students as most of them had never used Blackboard and it did help them navigate through Blackboard as well as the course website.  The video was then posted on Screencast.com for sharing and easy access.  Click the below link to view and hear my Jing on Screencast.com:

http://www.screencast.com/users/ChrisMark/playlists/New%20Playlist

Screencast.com is also owned and run by TechSmith.  Screencast.com is a great site where videos, images and documents can be uploaded and then shared.  You can even embed images and objects and can be viewed in any format such as WMV, flash, QuickTime, etc.   The free version includes 2 GB of storage and 2 GB monthly bandwidth and more is needed it can be purchased. 

I found these tools to be extremely easy to use and a great way to put together a demo video for students in a very short period of time.  This is a great tool when teaching online as a video shows so much detail about how to do something than an email trying to describe it in words.  I definitely plan on using these tools in my teaching in the future.

 

I Have a Video on YouTube!!! July 21, 2010

 

  

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!!!