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    Some more Screencasting

    August 17th, 2011

    I have written and spoken before on this blog about screencasting. Three years ago I went through some of the possible applications that you can use on the Mac for screencasting. This is a bit of an update to that post and added ideas on screencasting for Windows.

    Last year I posted a video on how to use the free online service Screenr. Screenr is a very clever free service that I use a lot for demos and training. However it is limited to five minutes, you need to ensure you get a perfect “take” as you can’t edit the resulting screencast and one further downside is that it is public, though it is possible to “quickly” download the Screenr recording as an MP4 file and then then delete the online screencast!

    JISC Digital Media have a lot of resources on screencasting including tips and advice. I embedded their 6 Quick Wins presentation into the blog a few weeks back.

    I also recorded a podcast with Gavin and Zak from JISC Digital Media in which we discussed what is screencasting, what can you do with screencasting, what tools are there for screencasting, top tips on making screencasts and delivery of your screencasts.

    In Snow Leopard and Lion it is now possible to record screencasts using the built in Quicktime tool.

    However as with Screenr you need to ensure you get it in one take, or stitch smaller videos together.

    For a little more flexibility than the whole screen you get with Quicktime, another application IShowU gives you a few capture options, such as ½ or ¼ size. It also allows you to capture part of the screen, whereas Quicktime captures the whole screen.

    iMovie on the Mac, which is usually used for video editing can be used to edit screencasts from recordings made from Screenr or Quicktime (or any of the other tools too).

    One tool that I know a lot of people use for Windows is CamStudio.

    CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)

    CamStudio can also add high-quality, anti-aliased (no jagged edges) screen captions to your recordings in seconds and with the unique Video Annotation feature you can even personalise your videos by including a webcam movie of yourself “picture-in-picture” over your desktop.

    It’s open source and free to download.

    One tool I do use for Windows is Captivate. This is very powerful software from Adobe that allows you to not only capture what is on the screen, but also edit the capture afterwards, add further audio, more screen capture and add captions. The main difference I feel with Captivate is that it is less reliant on making the screencast as a pure video file. You can add interactions and even quizzes to turn a simple screencast into a learning tool.

    For the Mac I use Screenflow and this has been recently updated to version 3.

    Get your video on the web with Telestream ScreenFlow screencasting software. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and (with optional components) your computer audio. The easy-to-use editing interface lets you creatively edit your video; add additional images, text, or music; and add transitions for a truly professional-looking video. The finished result is a QuickTime or Windows Media movie, ready for publishing to your Web site, blog or directly to YouTube or Vimeo.

    Use ScreenFlow to create high-quality software demos, tutorials, app demos, training, presentations and more!

    Again one of the reasons for using Screenflow is that you can go in and edit the screencast, add more screen capture if needed, annotations, captions, subtitles. You can add audio, stills and video to enhance the screencast. You can also capture video at the same time, to add a picture in picture to your screencast.

    If you rarely make screencasts then spending £70 on Screenflow is probably not good value for money. However if making screencasts is something you do on a regular basis and you have a Mac then I can recommend Screenflow as a useful and powerful tool.

    Camtasia is another tool that is available for both Windows and Mac. Though for some reason the Mac version is much cheaper than the Windows version!

    Create eye-catching training, presentation, and demo videos…the easy way. Camtasia for Mac screen recording software is streamlined, intuitive, and makes you look like a pro.

    Easily record onscreen activity, Keynote slides, camera video, microphone or system audio—all with sparkling clarity. Record in front of a live audience or at your desk. Edit to perfection. Turn it into a stunning, HD-quality video at the perfect size to share on popular video sites, Apple devices, your website, blog, or anywhere you like.

    A very similar tool to Screenflow and one that I know is used by a lot of people, especially on the Windows platform.

    There are many ways in which screencasting can be be used to support learning and having covered some of the tools in this blog post, I hope to cover some of the ways in which it can be used in a future blog post.


    e-Learning Stuff Podcast #068: That’s my idea! No it’s mine!

    December 12th, 2010

    Ideas, sharing ideas are discussed along with Java and Screenr problems, discussion forums, Bloom’s taxonomy and the 1% rule.

    With James Clay, David Sugden, Lilian Soon, and Dave Foord.

    This is the sixty eighth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, That’s my idea! No it’s mine!

    Audio MP3

    Download the podcast in mp3 format: That’s my idea! No it’s mine!

    Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

    Since this show was recorded a recent update 3.6.13 to Firefox for OS X has “fixed” the Screenr bug we discussed at the beginning of the show.

    In the recording we refer to a podcast I made for the JISC Online Conference.

    Audio MP3

    Shownotes


    Screenr Presentations

    November 29th, 2010

    One thing that I have been doing for years is using Keynote on the Mac to create videos of presentations that I have given. What I do is use Keynote to present, and record that presentation. Keynote then allows me to export my presentation (complete with transitions, animations and videos) with my recorded narration as a complete video file. I can then take this video and export it for any other device that I need to use it on.

    I did this initially at the first JISC Online Conference back in 2006, I have since then used it with various presentations, such as this presentation at the MIMAS Mobile Learning Event.

    I haven’t really promoted this process in the college as it really does require that you use a Mac and use Keynote. As with most FE Colleges we use in our classrooms, Windows PCs and Microsoft PowerPoint.

    Though I have found and see many applications which convert PowerPoint presentations into Flash animations, they were difficult to use with a live presentation, you needed to record individual audio files for each slide, or time each slide accurately to a recorded narration for the whole presentation. It was a bit of a challenge and not really a practical proposition for a typical classroom teacher.

    So though Keynote could do it, I hadn’t really seen a possibility that could work until Ron Mitchell made a comment at a MoLeNET meeting about doing all the above using Screenr.

    So what is Screenr?

    Screenr
    is a web service that allows you to make screencasts quickly and easily, then have them posted to the web.

    Once on the web, you can either share the URL, put it in an e-mail for example, or on Twitter.

    You can embed the video into a webpage on a website or on a VLE. This is in the Flash format. What about if you have a smartphone or an iPhone, well Screenr ensures that the video is available in an MP4 format which will play on the iPhone, other smartphones and internet capable video devices.

    Screenr also allows you to share your video on YouTube.

    Finally one useful aspect is that you can download the video as an MP4 file. This can then be embedded into a PowerPoint presentation. You can also import this video file into iMovie and edit it, add titles, other video, to create a new video. If you have the appropriate MP4 codec on your Windows PC you can import it into Windows Movie Maker and do something similar.

    So what you would do is as follows:

    • Start Screenr capturing your screen (full size screen).
    • Start your PowerPoint presentation.
    • Deliver your presentation.
    • Stop Screenr.

    Screenr will then take the video of the presentation, combine it with a recording of the presentation and convert it into a video file, before posting it on the web.

    You can then do as I said above, embed it in the VLE, share the URL via e-mail, allow learners to see it on an iPhone, or download the video in MP4 format to do other stuff with it.

    One note though is that the service works basically with a Twitter account. You don’t need to use the Twitter account, but just thought I would point it out. For an alternative look at ScreenToaster which doesn’t require Twitter and has a 20MB limit (as opposed to a time limit).

    Five minute limit

    Yes there is one big problem with Screenr and that is the five minute limit!

    The only real solution (apart from using other tools) would be to create lots of five minute presentations instead.

    What I like about Screenr over other similar tools (like Jing) is that it doesn’t require you to download an application or install anything. Go to the website, click create screencast and then everything is simple after that. That means it is practical to use it in a classroom situation to record a presentation, as you don’t need to install an application on every computer in every classroom. One note though, if you want decent audio, then you may want to consider how you will capture that audio in the classroom.

    I recently discussed screencasting on an e-Learning Stuff podcast.


    e-Learning Tech Stuff #005 – Screenr

    October 15th, 2010

    This week’s e-Learning Tech Stuff is a guide to using Screenr.

    Screenr – Instant screencasts for Twitter. Now you can create screencasts for your followers as easily as you tweet. Just click the record button and you’ll have your ready-to-tweet screencast in seconds.

    I really like the simplicity of Screenr.

    Dave Foord has used it to create some excellent guides.

    Download the iPhone version in M4V format.

    Subscribe to e-Learning Tech Stuff on iTunes


    How to use Screenr

    April 22nd, 2010

    I created the following screencast on how to use the screencasting service Screenr.

    So what is Screenr?

    It’s a web service that allows you to make screencasts quickly and easily, then have them posted to the web.

    Once on the web, you can either share the URL, put it in an e-mail for example, or on Twitter.

    You can embed the video into a webpage on a website or on a VLE. This is in the Flash format. What about if you have a smartphone or an iPhone, well Screenr ensures that the video is available in an MP4 format which will play on the iPhone, other smartphones and internet capable video devices.

    Screenr also allows you to share your video on YouTube.

    Finally one useful aspect is that you can download the video as an MP4 file. This can then be embedded into a PowerPoint presentation. You can also import this video file into iMovie and edit it, add titles, other video, to create a new video. If you have the appropriate MP4 codec on your Windows PC you can import it into Windows Movie Maker and do something similar.

    What I like about Screenr over other similar tools (like Jing) is that it doesn’t require you to download an application or install anything. Go to the website, click create screencast and then everything is simple after that.