‘Screencasting in 7 minutes with Jing’ workshop at BarCamp Brighton 4

Yesterday at BarCamp Brighton 4 I ran a ‘start screencasting in 7 minutes with Jing’ workshop – I’m happy to say I had 7 new people start ‘casting for both internal education (in Thales) and for communication to clients for freelancers.  TechSmith have picked-up this post – thanks Betsy!

Jez (see further below) took a photo of me and ‘friend’ (the building we used was also running a big building-sized art exhibit!):

The video below shows my 30 minute session, we all sat in a group (this space had no screen) for a very informal tutorial (sorry, the video starts a few minutes into my session):

Start Screencasting in 7 Minutes with Jing – Workshop at BarCamp Brighton 4 from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

Firstly I had everyone installing Jing since it is trivial to install and ‘just works’ on both Windows and Mac.  Next I ran through some examples of other screencasts:

  • Jay’s Gibraltar Software screencast produced in 3 days with Camtasia on Windows (via my friendly critique)
  • Google Chrome screencasts for examples of 10-20 second feature tours
  • DropBox intro screencast which shows two computers syncing (via a virtual Windows instance) – see the Windows desktop about 1/6th of the way into the video
  • ShowMeDo’s OpenStreetMap videos for open-source tutorials
  • MailChimp‘s homepage video as a warning – lots of style (it is quite pretty) but very little informative content!

Whilst new users installed and tested Jing (mostly on Macs) I had Jez use my Mac to record a short screencast for an imaginary colleague to teach them how to search in Wikipedia.  Jez, having never screencasted before, created this very clear tutorial (permalink) on searching for ‘RMS’ to understand what RMS Titanic stands for:

One of the other chaps (Rosario?) had Snow Leopard and gave us a quick demo of using QuickTime’s new screen-record feature.  He recorded the screen and showed that we could save it out as a .mp4 – this gives Mac users another free screencasting opportunity.  Couple that with iMovie and you have a cheap (well, free) and cheerful recording and editing environment.

I offered some tips for first timers:

  • Do a walk-through first of all so you’re practiced
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Record the audio in a quiet room (you can clearly hear other background voices in Jez’s example above – best avoid this if you’re doing work for clients!)
  • Don’t wiggle the mouse to highlight something, prefer to use an editor later to add highlights or spotlights
  • Just Do It – don’t worry about it, just make a recording and repeat it if it wasn’t good enough.  Soon you’ll have something online that Does The Job

To improve your screencasting knowledge you must read The Screencasting Handbook. The author (Ian Ozsvald) also blogs.
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