I have to say screencasting is something that has changed my life! I know that sounds silly, but it is so true. As a trainer I have written out instructions several times and still feel like the people I am training are struggling. A few times I have been able to create a screencast along with my instructions and it has helped tremendously! Some of our librarians needed the extra visual of watching the screencast to help them along in their learning process. I have also made a few screencasts to help some of my family members when they were having trouble figuring out something on their computer. I have to admit at first I tried so hard to make my screencasts as perfect as possible. However, I watched a few that Liz Rea and Sharon Moreland made from NEKLS and realized mine didn’t have to be perfect! Theirs were fabulous and weren’t totally perfect. They might cough in the middle, but they would just go on! I also had to get over the sound of my voice. No one likes to hear the way they sound! eeek! However, my supervisor Charlene McGuire always creates a persona when she screencasts. As soon as she says she is someone else her nerves go away. That makes sense to me, but I can never come up with a name. I always feel like people will know it’s me anyway? lol.
I have used Jing, Screentoaster, and Screencast-o-matic. I have to say my favorite is Screencast-o-matic. It’s the easiest to use in my opinion. I also like how you don’t have to install any software and it lets you pause in the middle of a cast. I have used the pause feature several times to gather my thoughts or pause and rewind to record over a part where I messed up. I like Jing, too but a lot of times my screencasts are longer than 5 minutes (the limit on Jing) and I have had some issues with the software on my computer.
Also, here at our office we have been trying to figure out a way to store and share our screencasts. Does anyone have suggestions for what has worked or not worked for you? We have a blog for our automation system where we can share those screencasts, but aren’t sure about the others.