Another interesting weblog post that I have found on my RSS feeds for today has been the one that Phil Windley has shared over at Phil Windley’s Technometria regarding the subject of using screencasts as a very powerful way to augment instruction. And I just couldn’t have agreed with him more on this very same subject.
Having been involved myself with providing different education sessions on different topics and tools regarding KM and Communities of Practice during the course of 2005, and most probably during 2006 as well, I can certainly agree that screencasts are very powerful means of delivering content and education, specially to remote, distributed and virtual teams. There are plenty of reasons and benefits as to why screencasts are very powerful while conducting different education events but I am just going to mention five reasons why they have been very beneficial to me thus far:
- Ability to record education session for later replay so that people who may not have been able to attend the education session at the time are able to listen to the original event without missing out on the audio and video of the event. And they can do that at their own leisure, while at work. Yes, indeed, what you would called informal learning.
- Ability to save time and effort by not having to repeat the same education session with others over and over again and during whatever the period of time. In here I think I could also include the good amount of costs saved by not having to arrange multiple conference calls or even arrange face to face events to conduct those sessions or even reserve whatever the web meeting room I may have thought about scheduling ahead of time.
- Ability to improve the amount of online resources for specific learning courses or tutorials. That way there is a growing amount of learning material that could be used extensively to increase the number of intellectual capital available for whatever the business and dealing with whatever the topic.
- Ease of use for wider distribution through the usage of media files, Flash or whatever other web format where in most cases people would just need to have a browser or their favourite multimedia player. Indeed, in this case there is no longer a need to have expensive software running in your computer in order to attend those events. In most cases now you would just need to have a browser or a media player so that you can view the modules with just a single click.
- Easy to create, edit and produce for later distribution and without hardly any intervention from the presenter in order to share the results with the audience. This is probably one of my favourite benefits since in most cases it would require very little technical knowledge to produce your own screencast and off it goes. Available to everyone.
So as you can see screencasts are certainly one of the most productive ways of getting virtual teams to enjoy different education events without having to worry about anything else than just getting the participants to make use of their favourite browser or media player and with no additional costs involved. By now though you may be wondering about what are my favourite tools to create screencasts and over the last couple of years I have developed an inclination for three of them:
- CamStudio (Freeware)
- Wink (Freeware)
- TechSmith Camtasia Studio (My favourite and, perhaps, the most powerful one with some very useful online tutorials in TechSmith Video Training Materials)
If you are looking for a more comprehensive listing of different tools available for creating screencasts you could also check out the link best screencasting tools where you can find a very good listing with a good number of reviews as well for each of them and many more.
Thus next time you are thinking about delivering a course for an education event, you may want to have a look into the option of creating a screencast with it so that other folks may be able to benefit from it at the same time that you have got a good and inexpensive audio and video recording of the session itself. You may want to have a look into any of the different options mentioned above or the listing from the link I talked about earlier on. You will see that they would be a very successful and effective way of letting your education events sink in with your audience and remain there for later reuse.
[tags]Screencast, Wink, Camtasia, CamStudio, Learning, eLearning[/tags]