Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thing 13: Media Skills

This was a very interesting assignment, and one that I'm going to have to play with a lot more!  Initially, I wanted to work with the photo editing tools, because I recently acquired the ALA READ poster graphics software and I do not have access to PhotoShop, but then I became sidetracked with screen capture videos instead.

Now I already knew how to take a one-frame screenshot, but I did not know how to make one of those super cool screen capture demo videos, and this was something I wanted to do to add to my Library Classroom Web Page.  This assignment gave me the perfect opportunity to look into the process and to actually make a couple videos.  On one hand, I was delighted to discover that the process itself is not overly complicated, although I did find it to be extremely time consuming.

I started my research by doing a couple basic Google searches for screen capture videos, and ended up finding a great 6 minute video on YouTube that went through the basic process.  I watched it all the way through once and then went back step by step so I could recreate the necessary environment.  First I had to download Microsoft Expression 4 (free) and Microsoft MovieMaker (also free).  Expression includes a very user friendly screen capture component in addition to an encoder component.  MovieMaker is what you use to publish the encoded video.

So, I chose my topics and went through a couple dry runs first to make sure my demo would successfully show all the features I wanted to present.  Once I had a mental plan for my demo, I was ready to record!  My first video is a demo of how to search using our online catalog, OPALS.  For you and I, this is very easy.  For my teachers at school, this apparently is like learning Greek :-)

My second video demonstrates how to use the various search features of one of our Gale databases, Kids InfoBits.

The OPALS video was just over 5 minutes long and the Kids InfoBits video was just over 7 minutes.  It easily took twice that long to encode each of them, and probably closer to 45 minutes each to prep the videos for publication.  Again, I would like to point out that the process itself was not difficult - just time consuming.

So while my videos were encoding, I opened a new tab and made a YouTube account so I would have somewhere to publish my videos when I loaded them into MovieMaker.  And here are the results:



  1. You have great energy. Keep up the good work!

  2. Nice work! Like you, I find that most of my screencasts take far longer than I think they will. I can only do them quickly when its a "click here, scroll here, type here" sort of screencast that isn't going to be widely seen. Anything else takes me forever.