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What are screencasts and tips for making a good educational screencast.

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  1. 1. Screencasting<br />AVLM 2011<br />Bas Bergervoet & Stijn van Laer<br />
  2. 2. What is a screencast?<br />A screencast is a digital recording of the computer screen, also known as video screen capture, often including audio and sometimes including webcam video.<br />
  3. 3. (Dis)Advantages<br />A real DIY instrument<br />An easy and accessible way of enriching learning materials with multimedia content<br />It enables distance learning<br />Student-centered in a certain way (student decides when/where)<br />Online video can create access for non-regular student groups<br />Online video enables possibilities of re-use.<br />A (small) learning curve<br />ICT knowledge<br />Application of the medium<br />A good screencast needs preparation and takes time to create.<br />Good hardware is necessary (good computer, microphone, webcam)<br />There’s a danger of ‘overstretching’ a screencast <br />
  4. 4. Possible educational applications <br />Offering instructional videos for ICT applications<br />Explaining (parts of) software<br />Explaining websites or web applications and their functions<br />Typical: screen recording + voice over audio.<br />Creating “mini lectures”<br />Giving a short instruction<br />E.g. a complex assignment, a difficult word, (part of) a theory, etc, could be recorded so that students can repeatedly watch it and learn at their own pace.<br />Giving/solving an assignment<br />E.g. teacher/student takes a certain position or defends a certain statement concerning a relevant theme in a course<br />Typical: Audio + image of teacher with additional slides/mindmaps/spreadsheets/websites/etc.<br />
  5. 5. Online tools<br /><ul><li>Advantages
  6. 6. Easy to use
  7. 7. Low learning curve
  8. 8. Flash based
  9. 9. Distribution to social networks like Facebook and/or videowebsites like YouTube and/or within product network.
  10. 10. Free versions available
  11. 11. Disadvantages
  12. 12. No or restricted editing options
  13. 13. Often public links
  14. 14. Only flash video output (no other formats)</li></li></ul><li>Installable tools<br /><ul><li>Advantages
  15. 15. Easy to use
  16. 16. Robust
  17. 17. More options (editing, recording)
  18. 18. Distribution in several formats
  19. 19. Disadvantages
  20. 20. Heavy hardware needed
  21. 21. Higher learning curve than web
  22. 22. Price</li></li></ul><li>Open source tools<br /><ul><li>Advantages
  23. 23. Same advantages as commercial installable tools
  24. 24. Free
  25. 25. Disadvantages
  26. 26. Same disadvantages as commercial products
  27. 27. High learning curve
  28. 28. Restricted updates and support</li></li></ul><li>Tips for a good screencast<br />Preparation of the environment<br />Preparation of the content<br />Recording tips<br />Editing tips<br />
  29. 29. 1. Preparation of the environment<br />Audio is the most important!<br />Record the best audio you can! (try!)<br />Use a good microphone or headset<br />Control sounds in your direct environment<br />Turn of air conditioning / other machines (zooming noises)<br />Problem: noise of your own computer<br />
  30. 30. 1. Preparation of the environment<br />Adjust your webcam<br />Avoid using the screen light alone<br />Create ‘soft’ light<br />Avoid color changes<br />Avoid distractions in the background<br />
  31. 31. 1. Preparation of the environment<br />Sit in a comfortable position in front of your screen/desk<br />Avoid bowing movements to get close to the microphone<br />Avoid annoying mouse cords<br />Think about where you put papers to read from. Every page turned is hearable/seeable!<br />Avoid distractions<br />Flickering lights of other computers?<br />Cellphones off!<br />Squeeking chair?<br />
  32. 32. 2. Preparation of the content<br />A script/scenario is very important. The best way of doing a screencast is short and to-the-point.<br />Write down your script. It can be very detailed if you want, but at least a good structure is essential.<br />Time: <br />a screencast should have a maximum of about 5 minutes<br />A combination of screencasts can form a lesson, in which one screencast builds up to the next (simple  complex)<br />Start with the essence of the screencast:<br />Use an opening sentence like: “the following screencast is about…”<br />Don’t spend too much time on one screen<br />If you have to explain a more complex concept or action, use additional texts or images (afterwards, while editing the recording)<br />
  33. 33. 3. Recording tips<br />Before recording, do a walkthrough of all the necessary screens and software, so that everything is available<br />Practice on switching screens!<br />Pay attention to the your screen’s resolution<br />A low resolution can sometimes be better, since the icons and mouse seem bigger. Try this out!<br />If a low resolution doesn’t work, reserve enough time in the recording for zooming in afterwards during editing.<br />Tell the viewer what he/she should be looking at<br />Of course the mouse helps already, but you can emphasize parts of the screen, e.g. with arrows, colors, lines or audio.<br />This is especially important when using (or explaining) keyboard shortcuts.<br />
  34. 34. 3. Recording tips<br />Avoid ‘visual noise’<br />Avoid unnecessary icons/backgrounds<br />Avoid unnecessary open windows<br />Turn off windows updates! <br />Remove personal information<br />work-related information, passwords, accounts, etc.<br />Solution: make the screencast on another account on your computer.<br />Control mouse movements<br />Too many mouse movements annoy the user/viewer. Leave the mouse alone while recording unless you need it to perform an action on the screen.<br />Before<br />After<br />
  35. 35. 4. Editing tips<br />Split up your screencast in several parts<br />A series of short screencasts is better than one lone one.<br />Delete unnecessary material<br />“Kill your darlings” and be critical! For example: if opening Microsoft Word takes a long time, it’s better to cut out the waiting time.<br />Support what you say with text balloons or textual explanation<br />This also increases accessibility! <br />A transition between scenes or a filter can work quite well, but avoid an overkill of transitions<br />Light up arrows only when relevant<br />Only zoom in on important details<br />
  36. 36. Distribution <br />As a movie file  upload to Youtube/Vimeo/etc.<br />As an HTML package (with table of contents) which you can directly copy paste onto your server.<br />
  37. 37. Let’s try it out ourselves with Camtasia!<br />