Monday, 12 September 2011

Thing 18 - Jing/screen capture/podcasts

I didn't have any previous experience with screen capture or podcast tools so it was interesting to explore them for this Thing.

1. Jing
 I got very excited trying out Jing because I can see that it would be really useful in my job. We get a lot of requests from users, particularly at this time of year, asking how to access particular documents, and it's often easier to send a screenshot rather than rely on a written explanation (we only deal with queries via email). Normally we make screenshots by using the Print Screen button, pasting the resulting image into Word and cropping it, but Jing would be so much more straightforward to use. I found it simple to download and incredibly easy to use. Here's a screenshot I created showing how to get to the Theatre Royal Haymarket from Piccadilly Circus Station, in preparation for my visit this Thursday to see The Tempest (starring Ralph Fiennes!).

The wonders of Google Maps

I also made a brief video, showing how I used Google to search for the map and find directions, which was also incredibly easy. I can see lots of potential in Jing - videos on our VLE homepage explaining how to access particular things could be really useful.

I can see myself using Jing for personal purposes too. The download sits unobtrusively on my computer and I can get rid of it if I need to.

I also had a quick look at Camtasia and saved the link for future reference.

2. Podcasting
Podcasting also seems like a really useful tool, especially to appeal to those students who prefer to learn through listening. My workplace makes podcasts available on the VLE for students to use but I am not involved in their creation. They are created by the Media department who record the i-Tutorials (used instead of lectures at the college) and convert the sound files from these into podcasts. They are ideal as many students here are part-time or distance learners and podcasts offer a lot of flexibility. I bookmarked the Podwhating? link for future reference in case I ever need to make a podcast.

I don't listen to podcasts myself - I'm a very visual person and much prefer to read or watch something. If I'm only listening to something I tend to forget that it's there and end up concentrating on something else instead (this happens a lot when I'm listening to music too!). However it's important to remember that everyone learns differently and some people will respond well to this kind of learning.

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