What is screencasting? (#7)

“Screencasting” is a method of capturing the actions performed on a computer, including mouse movements and clicks on web browser links, in the form of a video.  Using online screencasting tools, the video can be shared via e-mail attachment or a web link, or be uploaded to a server for continual use. Screencasts may also contain audio narration which is recorded simultaneously with the actions are performed on screen or added after the video is completed. Additionally, still images of the computer screen, or “screen shots,” may include captions, highlighting or call-out boxes to draw the user’s eye to a specific place on the image.

Screencasting is a quick and easy-to-use tool that can help you create slick demonstration tutorials in any subject area, using any computer application. The software allows you to record a movie of what you are doing on a computer.  Along with your movie, you can record voice-over audio to provide a series of instructions.

Consider the possibilities. Students in math class can generate tutorials on how to solve problems. Students in Social Studies can create tours through the National Archives or any museum. Science students can be guided through simulation exercises. Teachers can demonstrate step-by-step instructions on how to get started with any software application. Screencasting can be used with any computer application and in any subject area.

Here’s an example of a young student using a screencast to explain proportions:

http://www.screencast.com/t/QOhJHLBmoht

Once your screencast “movies” are recorded, they can be published in a variety of ways. They can be embedded in other media such as PowerPoint slides or iMovie. Content can be burned onto cd’s that students can take at home and share with their families.

 12 Screencasting Tools for Creating Video Tutorials [Link]

 Bibliography

Carr, A., & Ly, P. (2009). “More than words”: screencasting as a reference tool. References Services Review , 37 (4), 408-420.

What’s in that “Cloud” (Blog #6)

“The way I understand it, “cloud computing” refers to the bigger picture…basically the broad concept of using the internet to allow people to access technology-enabled services. According to Gartner, those services must be ‘massively scalable’ to qualify as true ‘cloud computing’. So according to that definition, every time I log into Facebook, or search for flights online, I am taking advantage of cloud computing.” – Praising Gaw (2008)

Cloud File Storage, Sync, Backup   

Cloud computing has been a major topic for years, but more and more companies are pushing it as a way to avoid operating system issues. Cloud computing is simply having all of your files and software hosted on a network somewhere. This means that all you need to acces the files and programs is a web browser. These systems work with any web browser. The system does not care what operating system you are using. You can use Windows, or Apple, or Linux. If you can get to the internet, you can get to your files and applications. Most people have already used a cloud system when they check their email with a web mail system. Cable, Verizon, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo are all web based email systems that you can accces from any computer with a web browser.

The most popular cloud system is Google Apps. With Google Apps, you can create, edit, save, store, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You could work on the file on an Apple computer at work, and then continue working on it on a Windows computer at home. There are other cloud systems out there, such as Zoho and Evernote. Many more companies are developing web apps so that they can have users from any operating system.

Schools should look into more cloud or web based applications in the future to eliminate the issues of compatibility between operating systems. Most web based applications offer offline applications that can run even without an Internet connection as well as a way to save your files to your own computer. The other benefit is that most of these systems are low cost or even free.

As the operating system wars heat up with Windows 7, Apple Snow Leopard and Ubuntu Linux, schools need to make sure that no matter what OS their faculty and students use at home, they can access files and applications at school and home. It also helps avoid the issue of “I forgot my assignment file at home,” or “my printer ran out of ink.” By using the web apps, students could just log into their account at school and print it out. Teachers would also always have their files available to them no matter where they are. In many cases, these new web applications will also save on licensing fees since they are free.

Web based applications and files can also be accessed from smart phones like the iPhone, Palm Pre, Blackberry, and G1. This means that you would have access to your files and applications at any time.

What do you think about these?
What do you think about cloud storage?
Are there other services that you would recommend?

Works Cited

Gaw, P. (2008, July 25). What’s the Difference Between Cloud Computing and SaaS? Retrieved November 6, 2011, from Cloud Computing Journal: http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/612033

Social Bookmarking

As an instructional technology graduate student, my cohorts have shared an abundance of information.  These resources have been and will be useful and beneficial as I continue my personal journey into the integration of technology and web 2.0 tools into instruction.

Question: How can I organize and store this wealth of information?

Answer: Social Bookmarking.

Social bookmarking is a way for people to keep track of their bookmarks and favorites by using an online site they can access from anywhere.  If someone is only using their own computer to mark or list their favorite sites they possibly cannot access them from other places. However, by using social bookmarking site, such as Google Bookmarks, anyone can easily have access to their information on any computer or smart phone.

Social bookmarking is a method for users to organize, store, manage and find resources online. Unlike file-sharing these resources are not distributed, only the bookmarks that reference them. In a social bookmarking system, users save links to websites that they want to remember. These bookmarks are usually public and private can be saved, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. Authorized people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or through a search engine.

Social vs. Local computer bookmarking

Local computer bookmarking

1. Limited Access:  The saved bookmark is only available on the local computer’s hard drive, and is therefore no accessible from other locations.

2. Limited Organizational Options:  Most systems only provide for folders for organization and may not include “tagging” for those website that need to be classified in more than one category.

3. Limited Sharing and Discovery Options: Often when bookmarks are saved locally, the user choices of sharing is limited.

Social bookmarking

1. Global Access: As long as the social bookmarking website is available, users can access their saved bookmarks from any computer.  This will allow users, especially those conducting research, to continue work across multiple computers in different locations.

2. Organizational Options: Social bookmarking sites such as, del.icio.us support tagging.

3. Discovery and Location: Social Bookmarking tools as in StumbleUpon permit users to search and explore saved websites of other users which benefits time saved in research.

Throughout the courses, my fellow cohorts and colleges have been sharing so many good sites and articles that social bookmarking has became a truly useful process.

Works Cited

EDUCAUSE. (2011, October 10). Retrieved October 8, 2011, from EDUCAUSE: http://www.wtvi.com/teks/07_08_articles/socialbookmarking101.pdf

Fryer, W. (2007, September 11). Moving At the Speed of Creativity. Retrieved October 8, 2011, from Social Bookmarks 101: http://www.speedofcreativity.org

Why Web 2.0?

Our students are digital learners. Today’s kids were born digital! Their style is engagement, creativity, and learning that is self-directed and gives them empowerment.

  • Web 2.0 is user (student) oriented.
  • Web 2.0 is most generally associated with web applications that are interactive and collaborative in nature.
  • Web 2.0 is about users and content instead of surfing on the Internet. It’s more like what can the Internet do for me as a creator, a collaborator, an active participant, rather than a passive viewer of what is out there on the web
  • Web 2.0 encompasses any type of new content creation technology: blogs, wikis, podcasts, video sharing, photo sharing, web page creation, social bookmarking, cell phones, iPods and a wealth of other technologies that will soon be invented.
  • Web 2.0 is more than just Internet it is literally a web that connects us through all of the communications devices we carry.

What is Web 2.0 to a digital native?

 

Web 2.0 Tools

Web 2.0 is about revolutionary new ways of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing user-generated content online. It’s also about ease of use. There’s no need to download, and teachers and students can master many of these tools in minutes. Technology has never been easier or more accessible to all.

 Presentation Tool – Show Don’t, Tell!

  • SlideShare – Already have a presentation? Use this tool to upload your PowerPoint or Keynote slides and share them.
  • 280 Slides – You can create stunning presentations from scratch (and for free) with 280 Slides. There’s no software to download – and when you are done you can share.
  • Prezi – Break out of the box! Prezi.com throws the slide-show model out the window and presents a giant canvas

Video Tools – Lights, Camera, (Inter)action!

  • Gizmoz – Animate yourself.
  • PhotoPeach – This site allows you create slideshows with built-in polls and quizzes
  • Animoto.com/education – brings lessons to life especially designed with educators and students in mind

Community Tools – Collaboration!

  • Edmondo – Social platform for students & teachers
  • Google Docs – Real-time online collaboration
  • PBworks – Collaborative learning for schools
  • Twitter – Micro-blogging

The Twitter Experiment – Twitter in the Classroom

 

Sources:

O’Reilly, T. (n.d.). O’Reilly. Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

The 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools