Friday, 7 October 2011

23 Things for Professional Development: Thing #18

Screen capture is something I've been wanting to look at for a while now. At a repository event I attended earlier this summer somebody had created a screencast of uploading an item to an repository.  I thought this was a great idea. Not only does it show the process of uploading an item to the repository in a really obvious, simple way - it also proves that it can be done really quickly, and certainly in less than 5 minutes. I think it would make a great addition to the Help guides we have for the UWE Research Repository. The problem was, I didn't really know where to start with looking at screen capture tools.

So this thing has been great, as I really liked Jing when I had a play with it. It seems really simple to use, and the fact that it can record a movie (with or without sound) is a major benefit. Using tools like this is something I'm likely to be doing more of at work in the future too, so they'd recommended a different one - FastStone Capture. I had a go with this as well, but the version we'd been recommended didn't allow you to record things. Whilst there seemed to be a few more features available on FastStone Capture, it didn't seem as intuitive to use, and the additional features, for the most part, seemed "funky" rather than useful. So I think I'll use Jing to create that repository upload video! Now I just have to write a script to go with the recording and actually create the screencast in full...

And so on to podcasting. I've listened to a number of podcasts (they're fairly hard to avoid), but never really been keen enough on a series to download any. I've also never created a podcast, and to be honest can't really think of a reason why I would want to. Recording a one-off seminar or event, yes - but a whole series? I'm not sure I have enough to say! I did have a look at the Podwhating? course provided by Edinburgh Napier University though, and Audacity certainly looks like a decent tool to use - and the explanations of how to download and use it seemed very clear. I don't really feel that I have any reason to use it as yet, but it's something I plan to keep in mind. Just in case I ever do have enough audio material to want to turn it into a series!

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