Screencasts-digital video recordings of computer screens, often with audio narration or added video of an instructor-have been a staple for teaching developers and software users. But many screencasts are ineffective or even counterproductive because of poor planning and execution. Here are eight common faults of screencasts, with ways to improve the quality of your productions.
My screencasts are terrible. Sometimes necessarily so. Most times I wish I could follow the really useful advice given here in this article. It is a quick read with clear rationales for his suggestions. If I were to teach a media tech course I would definitely steal the ideas in here.
I would also like to know what tools he uses to make his screencasts like “breaking the instructor out of the box”. Yeah, I gotta figure out how to do that as well as figure out a sensible, sustainable workflow. I now have as a goal the creation of one, non-sucky screencast for my online Intro to Lit class this fall.
I’ll let you know how it all works out in an adventure-filled screencast coming to a browser near you.
Here is the text of my comment that was on Kevin’s site using the Visual Poetry tool as a rhetorical vehicle.
And here is some more commentary
Here is what I said in the post in simple text.
The intrinsic joy of these makes them worthy of doing in and of themselves.
I think there is some next step stuff that needs to happen.
1. Move focus away from digital objects and try to describe the connection that occurs
2. What are the messages about and how can we interact with them.
3. Let’s talk about how this tool might be used in other contexts.
I feel a bit like a naysayer. I am not. I am all for play as an infinite game that needs not justification. I just want verbs to be as important as nouns and I want us to learn together as a community about these tools and from each other about these tools.
OK, I got #3 started. #2? I am interacting with my own message now so I need to use this tool with someone else’s Visual Poetry message and relate what I discovered in doing that. As for discoveries here, I find the tool helps me to read and think visually with text. That’s a start. #1? Describing the connection with myself seems a bit narcissistic, but for writers we do this all the time in the self-editing. In fact this felt a bit like the same feeling I get when my tweets are too long and I have to fudge and fiddle a bit. I suppose #1 is about reflecting upon the medium and the message and the medium as message. Why bother? Why not? Isn’t reflection part of a grander game of motivation and intention and agency? I think it might be but that is a game for another post.
You try it. Mess about with my message. Mess about with your own messages. Hmmm, do mess and message have the same root? Hang out, message/mess about, geek out, share out. HOMAGOSO.
Duncan Green provides short and sweet translations of some of the key findings from a recent survey looking at how US policymakers use and value international studies research. The findings point to the importance of blogging, but also to the sustained influence of traditional print media.
I cast a ‘not nearly’ wide enough net in my daily fieldwalks through my browser, but it is wide enough to pick up some interesting stuff that resonates on a different frequency than my usually beat of edtech, connected learning, and composition tools.
I came across this in my RSS feed (Inoreader) and could not help but see adjacent possibilities flash before me. Duncan Green makes an open invitation to anyone out there who could be seen as big time, informal policy experts. I see his blog post as a call to our students at university (and younger) to become expert in at least some aspect of their discipline (or their lives) as it applies to social policy. I, too, see this as an acknowledgement of a growing sphere of influence for credible outsiders and iconoclasts. In other words, this is a clarion trumpet blast for readers and writers to become expert readers and writers. If this is not a supreme justification for liberal arts principles and values I don’t know what is.
1. The more policymakers know about a subject, the less they believe ‘experts’.
What I know well, I can suss out so-called experts on. If they are nuanced, I know it. If they are not, then usually that is a sign they don’t know their stuff. Not always, but usually. So, I want experts who know their stuff summing up, critiquing, curating, and analyzing research materials so I don’t have to. And I want to be able to trust them so I am so burdened with fact checking them.
2. Get blogging, people.
Folks who are visible and have been for a long time have greater credibility. For example, someone like Bryan Alexander has cred for me. When he writes about higher ed I read it. There are real opportunities for writers who can grow in expertise through blogging. Policymakers need bloggers to help them and, apparently, familiarity and trust trump academic standing. Good news for outsiders and iconoclasts.
3. Work on those elevator pitches.
Outsider information can rocketh even in the face of inside game “classified” channels. But…the internet is still viewed as suspect or perhaps a bit of a diluted authority. Elite print still wins.
4. Good old fashioned press work beats social media.
There is a growing role for those who could become authoritative experts online and guides on the side. These senior policy folks don’t want or need to be ‘educated or trained’. What they need are advisers and sharers of new knowledge. Most of all thy want “frames” from which facts and new knowledge can be made sense of. In other words”the best narrative (not the best evidence) wins”.
As an aside, I find the pie graph cited in Green’s piece to be very revealing and a corroboration of adult/informal research work done by folks like Charles Jennings known in learning and development theory as the “70-20-10 model”.
At the P-20 levels our policymakers are considered typically to be the administrators. The open and startling truth of this graph is that 50% of real, useable learning comes from field work, but the hidden truth is I think what this means to teachers and students. We are all potential hyperlocal policymakers and the adjacent possibility here is that fat and untapped channel of policymaking that could rise up from the everyday field of ‘classroom’ work.
How could we cultivate this unacknowledged field? Start by admitting that it exists, then begin to develop simple, easy to use ways to tap into the flow or to use existing channels (social media, email, online communities) to do so. If we don’t, then we still have the status quo with its secret backchannels and old boy/old girl networks. Yeah, how’s that been working for us?
I want to think more about how this applies at all levels of the educational establishment. I would love to know whether it could or already does constitute a separate path, a countervailing force within the establishment institution. What do you think?
I think Sarah Honeychurch was remarking that “catalyst” was one of her favorite words. Mine, too. Then I ran across this blog post by Chris Glynn and knew I had hit a very rich vein that I could share with her. Here is the quote that thrilled me and I hope you like it, too, because I think it represents one of the those disciplinary crossover moves. What I mean is I am going to steal this idea to motivate myself and maybe you can as well.
Illustrators are like actors, teachers and politicians: we are boundary catalysts, able to engage with emotionally charged, strategic, learning situations. Illustrators have always been interpreters and translators. However, in addition to illuminating a text or idea from within, or commenting from the side-lines, or speaking for others from a brief, we can take the main stage and occupy an expanded role by hosting, influencing and directing the conversation, and animating the exchange of energy and ideas.
Job description anyone? Teacher as Illustrator? I like it.
Note: this post has Hypothes.is annotation extras in the side margin. Feel free to add your own annotations. You don’t even need to ask permisson, just have at it, hoss.
I ran across this quote reading a forum here on how to keep your mixes from getting booted off Soundcloud.
The whole world is a DJ
In the context of that forum the point was that the tools are available now for almost anyone to begin to be their own DJ, but there is real consonance and dissonance in that short declarative sentence.
This collage is my first take on exploring it. If you go here you can add your own to it, remix or de-mix.
Here is my own annotation of it.
Why bother with this ‘hyperactivity’? I am interested in the play of text and image. As a teacher and especially as a teacher of composition I feel it is part of my discipline and work to explore the metes and bounds of these media. What happens when they cross each other. Is there a hedgerow effect where text and words get all weedy and messy together just as they do in a fencerow? Is it like the various DMZ’s around the world that end up being profoundly diverse ecocorridors for diversity to expand into? Is it even like an ecosystem at all? All of these questions and more all go toward answering the larger pedagogic one: if text and image and sound are an ecosystem, then how can those who are learning along with me make the most of their own ‘mess’? I love my work.
Please note: there are some notes in the margins created by Hypothes.is. You are welcome to join me there where you will find explanatory screencasts, snarky endeavors by colleagues, and much and sundry: https://via.hypothes.is/http://impedagogy.com/wp/blog/2016/07/21/the-whole-world-is-a-dj/
Using the P22 T2Music tool, I have created a musical version of the Bill of Rights against a backdrop of gifs about all kinds of human rights and wrongs. This is a work in progress. You can remix it on zeega as well.
My eyes were going crazy trying to read it so, with Thoreau as my guide, I made it more legible. And I wanted to break the cycle represented here, to open it up. That is my main collaborative addition to this. I noted to Deanna in G+ comment that I didn’t know whether I’d done justice or violence to her image. Sometimes violence is justice. In this case I am hoping this is non-violent justice.
Like any reader worth his salt, I added the arrow elements above and below as my way of making sense, of making legible, the image. I cut out big words using much the same subliminal judgment I use when making cut-out or black-out poem, which is to say only vaguely and mos def not rationally. Those words are the red, yellow, and green ones above.
Next step: make more sense (or stop making sense at all). The image below is me making a mess before it maketh sense.
I know it’s a not so nice picture anymore. Non-violent justice? Violent injustice? Homage and sincerest form of? Maybe I can get rid of some of the arrows.
Maybe I make it more legible? more pretty? more mine? Not mine. Ours. Perhaps ‘mined’ from Deanna’s, but not mined. Yourn + mine = Ourn? I trust that is true.
And finally…an invitation to collaborate using this editable embed courtesy of Hackpad.
KQED Teach is a fun and social online learning platform for educators to improve their media literacy skills
KQED has been committed to helping teachers and learners for as long as I can remember. Early on it was providing public TV resources and lesson plans. Now, as they have evolved, they give us communities and networks of connected learners. This is their latest effort. And it is a hand-in-glove fit to the DIY online community, CLMOOC, as they wend their way through their four week field walk.
I especially like the “courses” they offer. Here is one I like a lot, Video Storytelling Essentials. Why? Because it divides the ‘lessons’ into how to tell stories with video (five modules) and how to teach others to tell those stories (one module). That is the correct order of things. If you want to teach then you need to make–a lot.
The community part of the site is nascent, but there is still activity–a very good sign. Check out Rachel (sorry, I don’t know last name) and her use of WeVideo to make a six-word video story. Got me inspired: wake, take, make, reflect, listen, go. Going to try to have something by the evening before the Twitter chat for #CLMOOC
I am thinking to myself, “Self? What kind of knowledge is this that can be tested in such ways?” I would answer, “Pretty inconsequential.” But the adjacent possibilities this tool opens are not.
I would rather students make their own damned quizzes for themselves or their peers here, then as a group create a collaborative quiz and critique what is being tested and what isn’t. I guess what I am saying is that this is a very potent tool. Let’s not just use it for its lowest purpose. This is not a criticism of Google or Richard Byrne or George, but a plea to move beyond and refine the repertoire for our learners and in the end make it, as Ivan Illich called it, a convivial tool.