In the past, and for a good number of weblog posts, I have been talking over here about the importance of Tacit Knowledge in the coming back of Knowledge Management thanks, amongst other things, to the emergence of social software that helps boost collaboration and knowledge sharing in multiple different scenarios. For a number of years we have been having perhaps a bit too much focus on the Explicit Knowledge exchange where knowledge workers were more than anything else encouraged to share their best of breed Intellectual Capital in whatever the designated repository without placing too much emphasis on the tacit knowledge exchange.
However, and like I have already mentioned above, with the emergence of social software there seems to be now a more balanced approach where Knowledge Management is finally trying to combine both tacit and explicit knowledge exchanges and get the most out of both of them. And it is perhaps now where there seems to be a bit more focus on the tacit exchange piece since it needs to do some serious catch-up. At least, initially.
One of the most powerful options to try to deliver on that particular know-how of knowledge and information is actually one of my favourite social software concepts that I have been advocating myself for quite some time now. And that is the phenomenon of screencasting. Screencasting, to keep it short, "is a digital recording of computer screen output, often containing audio narration" and if there is a person out there who is an expert on the subject is actually the guy who invented the term a couple of years back in the first place: Jon Udell.
So that is why I was quite excited when a few weeks back he actually created a weblog post titled Screencasting of Tacit Knowledge, where he actually advocated with a concrete example how screencasts can be really helpful tools to deliver much more than just explicit knowledge. That know-how put together at the service of showing someone, with both audio and video, how to perform a particular task and then learn from it right away is perhaps one of the most powerful methods for knowledge sharing, collaboration and learning by doing (Informal Learning). And this is perhaps one of the main reasons why more and more learning activities are getting delivered with the help of screencasts as they can certainly be very beneficial and very handy to deliver very powerful messages.
By now you are probably wondering which one would be my preferred method of producing screencasts, right? And I must say that after having tried out a number of different tools like Wink or CamStudio (Both of them very good options as well and worth while checking, in case you are looking for more options out there) and reading further on a number of different great reviews my preferred method for creating a screencast is actually Camtasia, which funny enough in the last few days there has been a new major release put together, v 4.0, that comes packed with an incredible set of new features that will make it a delight for everyone to try it out.
I have now upgraded my v. 3.x license and got my hands on a copy of v.4 (Yes, I know it is not cheap. But you would have to think how much money you would be saving for the different tasks you are planning to use it for. Yes, indeed, it would become a rather cheap license and worth while the money. And big time!). I must say that I impressed. Very impressed. Specially with the good amount of social software related features put together in this particular last major release. They even launched a new service with it called Screencast where you can host your own screencasts at a reasonable cost and then share them with everyone else out there. Pretty an interesting option, for sure, specially if you do not have the means to store them online elsewhere yourself.
I guess I could go on and on and on regarding how good Camtasia actually is, but I guess I will just leave it over there for the time being and encourage you to check out Jon’s weblog post on how tacit knowledge can benefit a huge deal from something so relatively simple as a screencast. As time goes by I will go ahead and share with you a couple of my favourite features thus far and perhaps also create a couple of screencasts and show you by doing how effective they can well be. We shall see how that goes.
Tags: Screencasts, Screencasting, Social Networking, Social Software, Social Media, Web 2.0, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Management, KM, Informal Learning, Collaboration, Tacit Knowledge, Explicit Knowledge, Camtasia, Wink, CamStudio, Jon Udell