Friday, September 10, 2010

Loving the Jing at the Top of My Screen

During one of my recent courses, a classmate emailed me asking how I posted links to my students’ blogs on my classroom blog. Instead of typing out the instructions or creating a slideshow of screenshots, I created a Jing video tutorial. Since I already had Jing installed on my laptop, I just plugged in my microphone headset, asked my study hall students to work silently for a few minutes, recorded the video, uploaded it to Screencast, and emailed the link to my classmate. The entire process took less than five minutes. The video may be viewed here. Using screencapture tools, such as Jing, enable me to quickly record and share editable images and video with audio.

I’ve experimented with free screencasting tools for around a year. Before I began my master's program, I had made a few video screencapture tutorials for my students. But through course texts, my students’ feedback, and my own observations, I’ve learned that video tutorials are not an effective delivery method for multiple-step instructions. Now if I am introducing a new process, such as creating an account in a Web 2.0 tool, I have developed two effective strategies. My students prefer that I drive them through the process: I demonstrate the process step-by-step on my SMART Board while walking around the room to troubleshoot and encouraging them to help one another. However, I also like to create screenshot slideshow tutorials when possible. When following slideshows using a split screen, they practice working independently—this also creates archives of the lessons to be used by absent students.

This week, I used screencasts and screenshots within a digital storytelling lesson. First, I showed my students a screencast video created by the producers of Storybird, a free digital storytelling Web 2.0 tool. Then, I instructed them to create accounts by following my specific instructions posted in PhotoPeach, a free Web 2.0 slideshow tool. I used Jing’s screenshot and photo editing tools to create the slides within my PhotoPeach. If I had opted to create a screencast from scratch, I could have used Jing.

Students: How would you use Jing if it was installed on your laptops?

Adults:  Is Jing the best free screencapture tool?

Photo Credit:Jing Pro – Record HD-quality Videos for YouTube Originally uploaded by Ivan Walsh

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