Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Thing 18: Jing / screen capture

<Sound of man falling off a cliff> Noooooooooooooo.

I am breaking all the rules. I thought I was so clever. I left a 'come back later' post for Thing 18, and carried on through to Thing 23, all smug because I'd managed to keep my Things in order. Completed Thing 18 a few nights ago - but only half of it. And now look at me. Sloppy. Thing 18. Part b. Right after Thing 23. I have failed as a librarian.

Oh well.

In Thing 18 I looked at Podcasting. The other half of that Thing was to consider Screencasting. For this, I downloaded and had a play with Jing. I made a very short tutorial on how to use the Athens home screen as an RSS feed reader. Here are my results.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

A link to the original video can be viewed here in full screen.

It's only a short video. But it took many takes to get it anywhere near 'right'. I learnt the following:

  • Close any unused tabs on your browser. It's distracting
  • There seems to be an issue with Jing being able to display the very bottom of the screen. I need to play further to discover if this is a Jing Thing, or whether it's a screen resolution thing.
  • Be clear about your script. Map out what you want to show, and where you want to click.
  • Folks watching can't see you use keyboard short-cuts. If you are not using audio, make sure it's clear what you are doing. For example - highlight and right click to 'copy and paste' rather than using keyboard short-cuts.
  • This video would have been more accessible (and made much more sense) if I could have used commentary over the top, but lack of a microphone prevented this.
  • Consider the speed of your mouse movements, and clicks. Need to get the right balance between being slow enough to be able to find the mouse and track it's progress, and being so slow it's dull.
I want to be able to put little labels over the video. Little instructions that help link the pieces together and fill in the gaps to complete the story. I'm not sure if this is possible, it needs more exploration. It's a useful tool, and has much potential in a library setting where simple instructions translated into text and screenshots can start to look daunting. In our own department, we could use this for:
  • Guidance on setting up an Athens account
  • Using the Records Management file plan
  • Recovering a deleted file from a shared drive
  • Setting up alerts on the Library Catalogue
I could see the potential as well to use this in conjuction with a Powerpoint presentation. But whilst I managed to embed the video within this blog, I could not figure out how to upload the video to You Tube. If anyone has any tips, they would be most welcome.

I didn't play with the screen shots, or compare this with the windows 'Print Screen' function to see if the images were better quality. I'll put it on my list of things to do next time I'm creating a library guide. I hate editing screenshots in Microsoft Office so this may well prove to be a valuable tool!

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