Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Podcasting, Videocasting and Screen Casting

The text of this blog post should be a bit shorter as I will try to explain what I learned and what is in the post by sharing a podcast I made using Audacity.


Make sure to give my podcast a little time to load in a new window.  I posted this podcast to archive.org and have not figured how to embed it in my blog. I am getting the impression WordPress is a better blogging tool when it comes to inserting MP3 file. Listen to my opening explanation as a podcast. If this doesn't work click on this link.

Just to summarize, I created the podcast with Audacity and used creative commons licensed music from CCMixter.org and then uploaded my file to Archive.org and then linked that to my blog (talk about a steep learning curve). I would try any other way then what I did for posting my podcast.

I mentioned in my podcast one of my kids favourites from Stuff You Should Know. You can also find it in itunes.


If you want to make a videocast you need a video camera.  Some of the readings I did about videocasting talks about FIipcams. I thought I would share a bit about what I know. I used Jing to make this annotated picture of a Flipcam to the right.

A Flipcam is a very easy to use device. I purchased one for my library two years ago.  You just point the lens and push the red button. There is no zoom or any other settings to deal with. The microphone picks up sound from quite far away. I bought the cheapest model for our school just so we could see if it was worthwhile.  I bought the non HD version (which I think is no longer available) which can take up to 30 minutes of video at one time.  You can just plug the USB into your computer and play the video straight back from the camera.

There is a very simple piece of software you can install with the camera (the software may be more roboust now) which allows you to add opening and closing credits (no choice regarding formatting). You can also upload directly to Youtube from the software. The best part of the software is a feature that allows you to take any length of movie and have it generate a collection video bites.  I posted the video of a Smartboard presentation another teacher and myself did for our parents in a previous blog. I am reposting it here. I had the camera about 5 metres away just sitting on top of a bookshelf. I let it record to its maximum of 30 minutes and just ran it through the software to create a three to four minute summary. You get to choose from a few music selections. It is a great way to make a video collage of a school open house, sporting event, or fieldtrip.

There are a few things you need to consider before you get this device for a school setting. Even this old version of the Flipcam maxed out the processing power of my school computer. I was better off playing straight to a TV or directly loading to YouTube rather than playing on the computer.  The HD version of the camera is even more demanding. So check with your school technologist that you have the horsepower to use the camera and if the HD version will play back on your school TVs. The other sad part is that this camera only lasted a year and quit working. I have not looked at reviews to see if this is to be expected.

Note that most digital cameras that you have in your school will also shoot video, you may just need a bigger memory card (they are quite cheap now) and make sure that students stay close to the camera to pick up sound.


Jing, where have you been all my life! This is an amazing piece of software from TechSmith. I can think of all sorts of tutorials I can make for teachers and students. I am often asked to orient new students, teachers or teachers-on-call to the library and our computer lab. There are times that I can't do in a timely fashion or to the depth that a student deserves. This a great substitute. I will also post some for parents on how to use some of our online reference sources. As as start I can see having students creating tutorials about their favourite web resource. I can also see them photographing a project or poster they have made and then give commentary (kind of like a scaled down Glogster). They can also use Jing to create a presentation to show they understand how to use Destiny Library Manager or DestinyQuest.
I created a little introduction to the MyQuest feature of DestinyQuest (our school's Online Public Access Catalog). I have a cold so the voice quality is not the fault of Jing.  I notice there is a part where I log onto an account that can be seen in the video.  I changed the ID so no one can try to get in later. If someone were to do more presentations that involve data or images that you don't want shown you can use another TechSmith product called SnagIt.  It has a blur feature. The SnagIt suggestion automatically appeared after I created the video tutorial below. Note that SnagIt is something you need to purchase.
From Screencast, the sharing site from TechSmith, I had wanted to embed the tutorial in my blog so you could see the starting image on this blog. But when I clicked on the share button it would only give information about embedding a link. So here is my MyQuest tutorial.
When you first get into Screencast make sure to take in the whole tutorial at the beginning about making folders. There is very important information on how not to give people access to more personal or embarassing videos that you may have stored on Screencast.
In an elementary school and early middle school setting I will be challenged in my adminstration of Jing since multiple accounts will be difficult to get set up for kids under 13. Our district does not provide student email accounts.I know gmail accounts can be handier but having administrator access over student email accounts and their passwords would be heaven in an elementary school.


  1. Great post again on how to select, evaluate and demonstrate great usage of these new tools to support students and learning with open, free creative commons works.

  2. This is amazing! I will definitely try out Jing. Thanks for sharing such jewels for making our life easier