Monday 12 May 2008

Screencast Update

I've had a lot of positive feedback about my new screencasting project that I'm developing within Blackboard, the University of Manchester's virtual learning environment (VLE) of choice. A visitor from the US who is really involved in GIS education recently had the chance to see what I was doing and was particularly interested, and closer to home people also seem pretty enthusiastic. Obviously the VLE stuff is locked away from public view and it's not finished yet anyway, but here's an idea of how it will look to students:

In total so far I've completed about 30 screencasts but I aim to produce well over 100 for this project and now that I've got my production methods sorted out and streamlined I will start producing a lot more content over the summer. I'm going to continue to produce content that relates directly to different classes taught here at the University by me or by other teaching staff but I'm also going to do some stand-alone material that students can use as and when they want/need to. I don't like to script the screencasts because it can be a bit boring that way but I do have a plan that I stick to. There's a lot of advice out there but I think it's best to do what I know works after testing on students over a period time, although I do try to take on board what other more experienced developers have learned.

Finally, I think it's about time time that screencasting (or whatever you want to call it) should really be a lot bigger than it is. The technology is not new and everyone knows it can be done so why is it not ubiquitous? Before I sign off, I came across an interesting blog by a prolific screencaster last week - it's called Demo Girl and it's good reading.