Using Screencasting To Teach Kids Tech Comms Skills

Does this ever happen to you? You find a really cool new tool that you just have to share with someone. Anyone. Even your kids. Who probably have zero interest in technical communications and words like screencasting and content distribution platforms.

Is Your Kid a Geek, Yet?

For better or worse, our offspring get to play with tech writing tools like Adobe Photoshop, Flash, and Camtasia. Flash is their fav, by far.

and we’ve recently found a new one. Screencast.com

What’s the deal with Screencast.com?

This is one of Techsmith’s lesser known tools and is ideal for screen-casting, especially in school and other educational scenarios.

And they’ve just made it better.

From the site, ‘Our products are the tools that students and teachers use to create engaging content that motivates kids to learn. Jing, Camtasia Studio, Camtasia for Mac, and Camtasia Relay are regularly used to quickly communicate great ideas and record lectures and classroom activities, and to deliver all that great content to the masses is Screencast.com.’

I use it with Jing (used to create online videos. think Camtasia for the web) and upload the movies to Screencast where I share files with my development team,

What’s New?

Some of the groovy new features in Screencast.com include:

  • Supports the display of closed captions created in Camtasia Studio 7.1, Camtasia for Mac 1.2, and CamtasiaRelay 3.0, on three platforms – Flash, Silverlight (with Camtasia Relay content only for now).
  • Supports HTML5  – lets students access content hosted on Screencast.com from their iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
  • Search through the caption and transcription text of a video – effectively letting the viewer navigate to points of interest as easily as typing in a keyword or two.
  • Search on the Flash and Silverlight platforms, and an HTML5 solution should be here soon.
  • Supports Tables of contents in Flash, Silverlight, and HTML5, and Flash-based hot spots created with the Camtasia family of products.

What’s the Price?

You can get started with a free account and see if it’s right for you. I’ve found this to be fine for me and will upgrade soon as we have a large project coming online that will use lots of video file.

Think Help files with Video and you get the idea.

The Acid Test

I forgot to mention this. For me the acid test of most all new apps is if my Dad (mid 60s) or Jr (10) can use it WITHOUT having to read the manual.

He finds it a breeze. They may use it as his school for a twinning project, so that gets him involved.

How about you? Have you tried screen-casting yet? If not, what’s the main barrier?

Tools, training, price?

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan