Thursday, 3 March 2011

My first screencast

This week in H807 we have been examining podcasts and associated technologies such as RSS feeds. We have been encouraged to create our own podcast, and I was racking my brain trying think of something remotely interesting to talk about. I then remembered an online resource which was brought to my attention by one of my fellow students on H800 last year. It's called screenr and it's a free online facility for creating screencasts. A screencast is essentially a digital recording of your computer screen output. It will record whatever is visible on your screen, and you can add a voiceover or commentary to accompany it simply by speaking into the computer's microphone as you move around the screen.

I thought I would be much more likely to use this than a straightforward audio podcast. Having never actually produced either a podcast or a screencast before I thought this exercise would provide me with the impetus to give it a go. Once I got to the screenr website I was creating my first screencast within minutes. I must confess that I messed up my first attempt because I hadn't prepared anything, but ten minutes later I had a second attempt and produced this four minute screencast. It demonstrates to students how to access a particularly useful resource, and I thought it would be the type of thing that would be helpful for new first year students:

NB: If you happen to be viewing this blog on an iPad then the embedded screencast probably won't appear. If you want to see the screencast, try this direct link

The screencasts are limited to five minutes, but that's plenty of time for a simple task like this. Once you have completed your screencast you can review it and decide whether to publish it or delete it. Screenr links directly to Twitter, and if you decide to publish your screencast you do so initially through a tweet. It takes a few minutes to process the screencast but that's no big deal. Subsequently you have the option to share it with others or embed it in a blog or a webpage.

I was quite surprised at how simple it was and I think I'll definitely be making use of use of it again.


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