Screencasting is an effective option for utilizing technology in education. Lessons can be recorded and reviewed at the student's convenience when and where they want. Best of all, video clips don't get exasperated when they are rewound and asked to repeat what they have just said for the fourth or fifth time. The same can't be said for educators who, as human beings, can get a litle exasperated when constantly being asked to repeat themselves.
I was pleased to see that Steve Dotto had a webinar posted on screencasting. I was familiar with him and respected his expertise with technology as well as his ability to communicate clearly to people of all level s of expertise.
In his webinar posted on YouTube http://www.dottotech.com/screencasting-secrets-webinar-replay/?inf_contact_key=2a8e74d094cdefbf7cb82d0c51cf1628f8452f1ac0ffca2a64289b36619d4fea he addressed why screencasting has become popular. Access through mobile devices was a big advantage for this tool. A second advantage is the ability to use body language and vocal intonations to personalize delivery of the content and put it in context.
Dotto has been screencasting since the early 1990s. (Dotto on Data, 1990) In his webinar he emphasized the importance of a good audio track. He cites people's sensitivity to sound as a reason to ensure that audio embedded in a screencast is of high quality. He made a few recommendations for external microphones to attach to a laptop to address this concern.
Dotto also discussed the use of a green screen to achieve the "floating head" effect in front of the computer screen displayed in the screencast. He emphasized that lighting was key to ensure that the computer can read the colour to be masked properly. As with the microphone, he made some recommendations regarding green screens and lighting equipment.
Not having experience in video production, these were important aspects of the process for me to be introduced to.
I appreciated being given an introduction to the process by a recognized expert in the field and am inspired to try my hand at screencasting. So keep your eyes on YouTube for my upcoming appearance...