Thing 18: Jing/screen capture/podcasts
I really like the idea of Jing (and/or Screencast-o-matic), and being able to ‘screen-capture’, as many are the times when I’ve had conversations over the phone telling people to ” look for the little arrow button on the side, no, next to the line, no, if you hover your mouse you’ll see it, no its definitely always there, no, Oh you haven’t actually got the right window open” etc etc etc. My ‘idiot’ guides I make for cataloguing training always include screen shots, as it is so much easier to see exactly what the ‘right button’ or ‘pop-up’ actually looks like (I make ‘idiot’ guides for myself initially, as I like to have things explained step by step, but others seem to find them useful too – just in case anyone thinks I am calling my colleagues ‘idiots’!). Jing appears to be a tool that takes this screen shot idea to the next level. Its a bit like when you have a computer problem at work, you ring the help desk, and then they remotely take over your mouse – its a bit spooky seeing things move and open on the screen when you aren’t doing them (and you always remember too late that you’ve left something open that maybe shouldn’t have been open during work time, your Amazon wish list or something! Which you’d just been checking at breaktime.). So a bit of a cross between the two (screen shots and remote mousing!) – brilliant! Though I think I might avoid the audio bit, as I really don’t like the sound of my own voice on recordings…
…which of course makes pod-casts a whole big No-no!
And actually, they really aren’t something I can see a place for in my current job. Within the library service as a whole, here in Cardiff, podcasts have been used for student training (along with actual videos, too), to good effect. Putting them together looks like it could take quite a bit of time too, so not something I would try out for its own sake. Great instructions from Edinburgh Napier though!
I got so excited over Prezi I completely forgot to talk about Slideshare in this Thing! Slideshare is a useful place to store powerpoints that have been created for teaching, and can thus be used as a resource of teaching materials. Its also a great place to stick presentations after conferences. I know sometimes larger conferences will host presentations on their website after the event is over, but this doesn’t always work well in practice. It can take a while to get them all on there, and sometimes the website itself isn’t a permanent fixture. Last year (2010) I was involved in the organising of the WHELF/HEWIT Gregynog Colloquium, and at the end of the event we endeavoured to put all the presentations up on the website. There were some technical problems doing this, and I know my own presentation never actually made it – it was too large to send my email to the person doing it, and other factors got in the way. This was especially frustrating as this had been my powerpoint that had failed to run on the day, due to a virus infecting the conference equipment on the first day of the conference, and I had told everyone to check it out on the website afterwards. What I would do now is have it already up on Slideshare, eliminating those problems of access. However, personal gripe aside, the website is no longer available either! Due to the fact that the organising of Gregynog is passed from institution to instition each year, and I’m not sure who actually hosts the conference website, it tends to only be the current year’s conference showing. [I’ve now added my presentation to Slideshare, only 18 months late!]
I’d been vaguely aware of Slideshare previously, but hadn’t investigated it before, or considered using it. Now, I think it is another one of those tools that is slowly going to inveigle its way into my regular practices.