Trends, Achievements, and Perspectives
Last winter I took an online course through ACRL’s eLearning program.
This course, “Learning Objects: Creating Instruction To Go”, was challenging and engaging. Admittedly it required tremendous focus, boundless creativity, and was a lot of work.
This course required me to commit 5 – 8 hours per week to map ideas to storyboards, use free online software, create a short embedded object, work in teams to peer-review work, and ultimately finish the course with a better understanding of theories, software, and tools used. This was highly rewarding.
One of the online tools used was Jing. It is easy to install, sits like a severed sun on my desktop, and has made communicating with others simple and direct. I use it when creating presentations, giving instructions to my children (I cut and paste screen shots directly into emails or wikis of recipes, maps, etc.), and can track a process easily linking screen shots together.
Here is a great wee video about using Jing
Students can use Jing to record narrated works using Google Maps or Google Earth, create a digital story, create learning feedback, and/or as a tool for reflective practice to rethink research steps and thought processes.
I started to create information literacy tutorials using Jing on such topics as evaluating websites, learning the library catalogue, developing keywords, and others.
See Teach Paperless blog for examples where Jing was used to review and assess a student project.
I spent many hours in a sound lab last winter learning Camtasia, creating short instructional videos and voice-over PowerPoint presentations, and preparing support material for upcoming job interviews. The learning curve was steep but rewarding as the results have a professional appearance.
It takes time to critically evaluate any screen casting program for its reliability, usefulness, ease of use, convertibility, and support. I get caught up in the shine and glimmer of these tools using them frequently for the first while and losing interest quickly. Next week’s 23 Things for Professional Development may prove to be overwhelming.