Preparing for my Jing module

Erin has had such overwhelming success with her 23 Things Kansas Blogging module that I thought I’d best start thinking about mine now!  Thus, the poll and this rambling post about how, why and when I use Jing!

When I first tried Jing! (after Liz found it at Lifehacker…whence all good things come), I remember I had more trouble getting my headset to work than I did with using the new software!  So, I will definitely do a ‘pre-lesson’ on setting up your audio in/out.  I think there’s a module about online meetings prior to mine, so maybe my pre-lesson will just be a review for the almost 600 participants.  It probably didn’t help that I was a new MacBook user at the time and couldn’t find the audio settings…oh the things I’ve learned since June 2008.

This week Jing’s History files were another absolutely life-saving feature that allowed me to quickly restore most of the training videos to the NExpress project site.  I wish I would have used Jing exclusively to make all of my screen shots, instead of the built-in screen capture feature of my computer.  It’s an extra couple of steps, but I would have all of my images now, instead of needing to recreate them.

So, my brainstorming for the module:

  • Audio Set up – audio in/out needs to be set and mic volume and sound quality tested.  If the mic is too close, you hiss your way through the video
  • Scripting – it’s sometimes helpful to have an outline with your key points…or just be prepared to record the same process 15 times before you get one that you’re happy with (in the 5 minute time constraints, if using the free version of Jing)
  • Mouse movements – move your mouse off to the side if you are entering text into a form field, so the I bar or mouse arrow doesn’t block what you are typing.
  • Copy/Paste – Use the Edit > Copy/Paste menus or explain if you are using short-cuts or alt-menus on your mouse
  • Order of Operations – think about what windows you’ll need to have open, what process you’re trying to demonstrate and what files (if any) you’ll need to access, so they’re all on the desktop or already open when recording
  • Chunking – how can a process be sub-divided into little, easier to understand, parts?  The time constraints (5 min.) dictate this, along with the knowledge that most people lose interest after 3 minutes!  For example, with Koha reports training, one part is setting up the report, a second part is updating and running the report and a 3rd part would be downloading and filtering the report in Excel.
  • Pausing – use the pause button when files are downloading/uploading so you’re not wasting recording time on something inconsequential
  • Operating System – I usually record in the Lab on a PC, since that’s what the majority of my audience uses.  If I’m demonstrating a Web site, I can get away with using my Mac and FireFox.
  • Introductions – Liz is a big fan of introducing yourself at the beginning and end of each video.
  • Privacy – Make sure your private windows, chat, email, etc. are closed while you’re recording – could be embarrassing to have a friend pop up in the middle of your video 😉  I’m a curious sort, so I’m always looking at what appears in the background in screencapture videos.
  • Screencapturing images – I love the built-in arrows, highlighting and framing features of Jing.  Uploading some pictures into picnik may be necessary to completely black out private information (patron data in Koha screenshots, for example).  Small price to pay.
  • Uses:
    • Reference answers – Jason at KSU Hale Library uses Jing to help students with navigating databases
    • Training videos – we use these with KLOW and NExpress training, and we have a video about using the Henry Industries labels for the statewide courier, too!
    • Documenting anything! – Koha bug screen shots, illustrations with (1), (2), (3) reference points in training documents, or general entertainment (look what so and so posted on my facebook, tee hee).
    • Guided tours – We have a NExpress (Koha) OPAC Overview video that libraries can put on their Web sites. Ok, let’s try this again…YouTube doesn’t like .swf files, so here’s a plain Link To The Video
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