Week 12: Screencasting

Welcome to week 12 of 23 Things Kansas. I’m Sharon Moreland, Technology Consultant for the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS), and I will be your guide this week to the wonderful world of Screencasting.


According to Wikipedia, that wonderful free online encyclopedia, a “screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration.”  So, basically a screencast is a video recording of your computer screen, mouse movements, and keyboard strokes, with (or without) narration.  Here’s an example – An overview of an online catalog.

Sharing and Productivity

Screencasting helps you help patrons, staff and even software developers.  How?  Do you have an online catalog that allows patrons to place their own holds?  Record a 5 minute how-to video demonstrating the process and post it to your library’s Web site.  Screencasting can also be used with IM reference to answer questions about subscription databases – the staff at K-State’s Hale Library shared this tip at the 2008 Unconference.  Use it to help train new employees.  For example, you might have a trainee watch a screencast on how to add new patrons to the catalog and then follow-up with Q&A.  Think about all of the software programs we need to be familiar with, including any and all of the wonderful Kan-ed and State Library databases, and then use screencasts to demonstrate how they work.  At NEKLS, we use screencasting to record problems we encounter with our Koha ILS and share those with the software developers. Why try to explain in writing what you can demonstrate in a two-minute video?  Talk about efficient!  Educators have also been making fantastic use of screencasting to provide feedback on papers and create brief instructional videos.  Here are more ideas for how to use Screen Capture in Education.

A recap of some uses for screencasting:

  • Demonstrating library-related software, including the online catalog
  • Training
  • Sharing bugs and software problems
  • Answering reference questions
  • Software tips and tricks

Tools for Your Consideration

  • Jing! – After downloading the program to a PC or Mac, you can create and annotate screen shots (stills of your computer screen) or take 5 minute screencast videos that are saved as .swf (Adobe Shockwave) files.  You can upgrade to Pro for $14.95 a year.  Videos can be downloaded to the computer or stored for easy sharing online at screencast.com.
  • Screentoaster.com – Set up an account, hit record – here’s the demo.
  • Screencast-o-Matic.com – After setting up an account, you can create 10-15 minute videos that are easy to upload to YouTube.

In January, the EmergingTechEd.com blog compared a dozen different screencasting tools, if you want to explore further.

Tool Instructions and Activity

If you are able to download software to your computer, install Jing!, if not, check out Screencast-o-Matic.com.

Rather than write out the instructions, I’ve made screencasts!  Seemed appropriate.

Step 1 – Finding and installing Jing

Step 2 – Setting up your Screencast.com account

Step 3 – Capturing a Video


Click to see How to Use Screencast-o-Matic.com

Activity: Let’s keep it simple – share a link to a screencast you created in the comments.  Then, post it on your blog and write about the experience.  How can you see using screencasting at the library?  Think of all the great tutorials we will be creating this week!  Exciting.

Carry over from Week Nine: Come chat with us by joining the #23thingsks IRC channel. Type your nickname and click Connect. See this screenshot for help on where to click to start chatting. This multi user chatroom is hosted on Freenode (what is IRC?). I’ll be in the channel when I’m at my desk.

Things to remember when screencasting:

  • Be aware of background noise, both visual noise on the computer screen and auditory noise.
  • Log out of chat, email and any other programs that might pop up or otherwise interrupt you while you’re recording on your computer.
  • For training or demo screencasts, go through the process a few times to make sure everything works as expected.
  • Be aware of patron privacy – if you want to share your video with the world and it happens to be about your online catalog, be sure to use fake patron accounts – some of our favorites are Nick Fury, Charles Xavier and Barack Obama.
  • Tell us what you’re doing with your keyboard and mouse, since we can’t see your hands even if we can hear the clicking.
  • Test your mic and sound quality – is it loud? soft? hissy? high? low?

84 thoughts on “Week 12: Screencasting

  1. I’m running behind with some of my 23 Things Kansas lessons, but I’m trying to get caught up. I’ve been doing parts of each week by reading and checking things out so now I’m cutting it close to the wire to get all of the lessons done in a timely manner. Anyway, I just finished Week 12 on Screencasting and after some minor problems, I did a screencast on labeling events and photos in iPhoto. I used ScreenToaster and it was a lot of fun. Thanks for giving us such a great lesson. Here is the link to my screencast:

  2. Here is the link to the screencast I did for my students & faculty to do a title search and request an item from the Coffey County Library system.

    C:\Documents and Settings\ssielert\Desktop\Jing_video_cclibrary_title_4-27-10.swf

  3. Screencast on how to use Paint.Net to resize photos

    I couldn’t get the screencast to embed in my blog. All that worked was inserting the link. I’m also wondering how one could get a screencast onto YouTube. It is much easier to work with YouTube in blogs and wikis. Thus, I’d like to get my screencasts onto YouTube.

  4. Got it Yea! Posted on my blogger blog about screencasting! Have seen it used, and it will be great to use for the library to teach the patrons how to use the card catalog when every thing has been cataloged at Wilmore!!! Yea! Thanks gang! For all your help, a big wonderful hats off to ya!

  5. Here is the url for my screencast http//wwwscreencast.com/t/MzzQ3MmVkND
    This was a little confusing to me. I could see this being beneficial to teachers for online training and or inservice day training. Don’t think it would be something I would use.

  6. C:\Users\Dell\Desktop\Mila\My Documents\PRMS\Occupational_Outlook_Handbook_Video_3_29_2011.swf

  7. I am going to try this again. I just submitted my screencast, but I am not sure if it went through or not.
    I created this screencast for my careers class to help them research information on different career opportunities.
    C:\Users\Dell\Desktop\Mila\My Documents\PRMS\Occupational_Outlook_Handbook_Video_3_29_2011.swf

  8. Hi Mila! For us to view your screencast, the URL should start with “http://screencast.com” When you click “share” instead of “save” – hopefully, you’ll get this URL. Jing! will automatically store the URL on your clipboard so you can paste it into a comment.


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