Monday, November 28, 2011

More Than I Thought to Screencasting

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How to create a Kidblog account
(I can't get my screencast to play in the blog) This is a problem to be solved in the future.

Screencasting and using the program Jing is the last of the Web 2.0 tools I'll be reflecting on for this inquiry project. I saved this particular tool for the very end because I needed time to think about how I was going to put the screencast together and because it was one of the tools I knew the least about.

History and First Experiences
I discovered screencasting over the summer when I was exploring blogging and adding to my Google Reader. It seemed like I'd taken up a collection of blogs like I've taken up a collection of children's books. I just couldn't get enough of them. My very first experience with what I now know to be called screencasting was found through iTunes. I'd been looking for help on quick tips to help improve my knowledge on my Mac. I came across several screencasts, watched them and didn't think much of them other than how helpful they were.

Over the summer, I had been following Ladybug Teacher Files and she did a summer series on how to create a blog on Blogger. My interest had been peeked. At first, I thought it was a program you bought but I didn't know how to go about getting it. In my head, I knew this was the next tool I needed to conquer but didn't have time or the know how to learn about this tool. I saw the name, Jing, on our syllabus list and Googled it and wouldn't you know, the pieces started falling into place. Screencasting is the actual procedure but one of the many tools available is called Jing.

According to Wikipedia
A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot; whereas screenshot is a picture of a computer screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration.
Web 2.0 tools need to have a purpose in our lives. In order to give this particular tool purpose, I chose to create my own screencast on how to set up and create your own class on I distributed it to my colleagues so they an see how easy it was to create.

Since doing this, I've experimented with the tool a lot more. I showed my students a screencast I had created for a student who was travelling to Australia for the month (I know lucky right!). Her homework is to take pictures and blog about her experience in Australia. I didn't think she would remember how to load pictures so I created a screencast to help. After showing it to my students today, one student asked at the end of the class, "Can you do that thing again so I can learn how to do what we did in comptuers?" Translation --> Can you create a screencast so I can remember how to go to Tagxedo and enter in words like we did in computer class? Wow!!!!! The power of a Web 2.0 tool.  Steve McGovern (2010) says it nicely when he writes about how screencasting can enhance the learning process:
Firstly the clarity of teaching is evident; students can be shown exactly how to perform a given task or be educated on a given subject matter. Moreover, the easy access to repetition of this teaching through repeated plays of the content can help establish understanding.
Obviously, this tells you the impact screencasting can have and how it can best be used in an educational setting. Students in the primary years are very capable of watching a screencast over again to learn how to use another Web 2.0 tool. Mental note Ms. Brown, do more of this in the future.

Teachingsagittarian also writes about the potential benefits of screencasting. She writes:
Screencasts are so good for those learners that just need a visual as well as an aural explanation as well as the opportunity to watch something again, in their own time, and without having to feel like they’re not smart just because they benefit from hearing/seeing something many times.

McGovern (2010) goes on to write about how screencasts can be used to:
exchange ideas, comment on student progress, showcase approaches to teaching and generally do the things that would normally require us to be present in a given location and a given time.
What an excellent way to collaborate on student progress through distance education, in graduate classes with professors who live great distances apart (wink, wink) or with parents. Parents would love the opportunity to see more about what their child is doing in school. Jing offers a link to send to anyone for future viewing. Quickly recording a screencast about what their child is doing on their blog would be an excellent way to collaborate and share with parents. Comment on their writing or their use of specifics like Ideas, Voice, or good words they are trying to use to enhance their writing. The possibilities are endless.

Ease of Use - Pros
Jing was especially easy to use. I didn't find it difficult at all. The short tutorials are all that are needed.
This feature page was very helpful along with this video.
Features of Jing
VideoTutorial Jing

Andreas Zeitler's article Most Common Mistakes in Screencasting was very helpful. His tip about keeping your hand off your mouse so that viewers do not follow it and get distracted. As well, if you need to edit your screencast you don't see your mouse moving around in awkward spots were two pieces of advice I tried to adhere to. Another tip that was very useful, was creating a story board or script before shooting helped to keep my content and video to a minimum. I didn't want to go above my 5 free minutes of time for various reasons; nobody wants to listen to me ramble and uploading would take much longer. My audience was going to be teachers and young children so I needed to keep it short and sweet, for the low attention span of both audience members.

Even though I enjoyed using and learning about this particular tool, I did find some drawbacks to it.
  1. The time commitment to creating a screencast. Sometimes, you might have to go through several tries to get it right. It can sometimes take you time to getting it right. Patience is a virtue. The first time doesn't always turn out the best. 
  2. Addicting - you could potentially turn yourself into a screencasting monster because of the potential uses in the classroom. Don't worry, you won't be seeing a huge amount of screencasts from me.
  3. Usage for primary children - I am not sure I would use this tool with primary students to have them show what they learned. Instead, I would use it more for How To videos or for leaving specific feedback on some student work. Another way to use the tool would be to leave a How To for a sub on operating your Smart Board or any other electronics in your room. 
  4. Tagging - It is possible to tag the screencasts but Jing calls it "keywords". Once you upload the screencast to your blog, you also have the possibility of tagging it here. It is also possible to add  screencasts to your RSS aggregator but you can only get access to screencasts that are in a public only folder. Watch the video tutorial from
As you can see my cons list is small. I feel screencasting is a valuable Web 2.0 tool and I look forward to using it more in my classroom.


Berger, P., & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching in a digital world. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
McGovern, S. (2010). Screencasts and education. The Screening Room. Retrieved from
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Screencasting (2011, Oct. 4) In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved Nov. 27th, from  
Teachingsagittarian. (2009). Screencasting in the classroom. Retrieved from
Zeitler, A. (2010). Most common mistakes in screencasting. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved from

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