Using Screencasting to Teach Writing at a Distance A TOOL REVIEW FOR SCREENCAST-O-MATIC By Danielle Roach Old Dominion University June 21, 2010 [SHORTENED FOR USE AS A WORKSHOP SAMPLE]
Introduction What is screencasting? A screencast records the activity on a computer screen along with accompanying audio either from the computer itself or from a microphone. Thus, screencast software allows you to record yourself performing an activity on your computer and narrating that activity, and then allows you to save the clip of that activity on your computer and/or online.
Why screencast? Benefits for students: Multimedia appeals to visual learners and to students used to getting info in other-than-print format Tool allows for visual demonstration of physical activities and operation of other tools (“scaffolding” as described by Grady and Davis, 2005) Best for skills-based problems, "how-to" demonstrations Voiceover allows students to connect with instructor in auditory capacity (something that may be limited in other areas of the course)
Limitations of screencasting Drawbacks: No two-way communication If used haphazardly, can reinforce "sage-on-stage” No active interface for user (e.g., if there is a link on your screen, the user cannot click it to find out more information) File types vary by software, and accessibility issues can present themselves depending on how file is saved and hosted
Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) Features: Available completely online (no download necessary-uses Java platform) Saves as Quicktime (.mp4), Windows Media Player (.avi), or Flash (.flv) Offers automatic upload to YouTube and to your free account on SOMs site as well as option to download clips to your computer Allows recordings up to 15 minutes on SOM
Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) Drawbacks: Framed by GoogleAds Does not offer any direct EDU support Based on Java (which bugs some machines)
Examples of uses Research tutorial Word formatting tutorial Individual paper review (to account for inability to conference synchronously) PowerPoint with narration (just remember that any links will not be interactive for the user)
ReferencesAdobe Captivate 5. (2010) Retrieved 15 Jun 2010, from http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate/Archee, R. K. ( 2008). Screencasting—the Future of Technical Communication? Intercom, 55(3), 39.Camtasia. (2010) Retrieved 15 Jun 2010, from http://www.techsmith.com/camtasiaGrady, H. M., & Davis, M. T. (2005). Teaching Well Online with Instructional and Procedural Scaffolding. In K. Cargile Cook & K. Grant-Davie (Eds.), Online education: global questions, local answers (pp. 101-122). Amityville, NY: Baywood Pub.Hewett, B. L., & Ehmann, C. (2004). Preparing educators for online writing instruction: principles and processes. Urbana, Ill.: National Council of Teachers of English.Jing. (2010). Retrieved 15 Jun 2010, from http://www.jingproject.com/Neff, J. M., & Whithaus, C. (2008). Writing across distances & disciplines: research and pedagogy in distributed learning. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Reilly, C. A., & Williams, J. J. (2006). The price of free software: Labor, ethics, and context in distance education. Computers and Composition, 23(1), 68-90.Rethlefsen, M. L. (2009). Screencast Like a Pro. [Article]. Library Journal, 134(7), 62-63.Screencast-O-Matic. (2010). Retrieved 15 Jun 2010, from http://screencast-o-matic.com/Tagge, N. (2009). Jing and Yang: balancing asynchronous and synchronous training. Library Hi Tech News, 26(10), 6-7. doi: 10.1108/07419050911022261Warnock, S. (2009). Teaching writing online: how and why. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.