All the Rage

Not sure what is causing it, but screen casting seems to be all the rage these days. It seems like the ability to actually show people how to do thing has finally caught on … On the PC side they’ve had that Camtasia software for quite some time … us Mac users used Snapz Pro for most of our efforts, but recently a few new entries have made their way onto the scene.

The Jing Project has become an essential tool for quickly creating simple screen casts to show people how to do all sorts of things. It shares stuff instantly with in a Flash media format. It is really simple to use and does the trick for quick and dirty screen casts. What it lacks in sophistication it makes up for with simplicity and sharing.

This morning I stumbled on ScreenFlow … it is a new and sophisticated tool designed to take screencasting to a whole other level. It does some very nice things. Clearly the $100.00 price tag is a bit more than the free Jing, but it looks much more like a robust creation and editing tool. The demo movie shows that it can capture full screen, video, audio, and in a very cool twist, the video coming in via the iSight. So, using ScreenFlow, Keynote, and your iSight creating guided presentations to be delivered online becomes very easy. I haven’t used it yet, but will be putting it to the test later today. For now there is a free demo that places a watermark on your screencasts.

7 thoughts on “All the Rage

  1. I like the simplicity of Jing, and that it automatically saves everything as flash, which I feel makes it easiest for others to view the cast.

    You can configure Jing to automatically upload the cast to your own server. I have been just saving them to my desktop, then uploading them by hand for some reason.

    Jing is free, but it does put a little plug for itself at the end of your screencasts. I guess some might find that unprofessional.

  2. I have been using Jing more and more lately. I have really enjoyed the simplicity of clicking on the “sun” at the top of the screen, and quickly explaining to students how to do something (like log in to iTunes, subscribe to a podcast, or format a spreadsheet.)

    With Jing, I am able to go from question, to answer, in about 5 minutes (assuming I have to spend time thinking first!)

    My goal with Jing video clips is 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

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  4. Jing is so easy and it does all us to make really quick demos of nearly anything we are trying to teach on screen. It is amazing how for so long the idea of doing a screencast seemed like such a waste of time … we’d build all sorts of complex training with tools like Authorware or Director just to show a procedure on screen. I am really anxious to use the ScreenFlow app to see how feature rich it is.

  5. Another FREE PC based tool with some extra features over Jing (but not nearly as elegant) is It does a better job of zooming in “focusing” on smaller screen areas at the touch of a button and handling tracking the cursor around the screen. But yes, the tools and popularity seem to be on the rise, as they are with myself too.

    My goal is also about 2 minute turn around to a student question. The current 5 minutes is still too long for me to do it all the times it would be helpful! Jing also doesn’t provide enough sizing options when recording and/or embedding clips, and file size can get VERY big. I talked to developers about it, and It sounds like sizing options are on the way…we’ll see. In the mean time I usually change window size and do not capture my 20″ monitor worth of screen real estate. Which is where the utipu tool is nice.

    Finally, I did just order Camtasia, and will be working more with Captivate, since I want to play with some richer features now that I’m hooked.
    -Joel G.

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