One more for the toolbox

So, after writing about sustainability in my blog post last week, I couldn’t avoid it any longer…I needed to get my butt in gear and ensure the sustainability of my own work!   Documenting the work I have done for the trainings I’ve created has been pretty straightforward and consistant throughout my year- I’ve saved copies of all the resources I’ve used,  feedback I have recieved, plus I have the documents themselves.   When it comes to the videos  though,  I must admit that I have placed a slightly higher priority on learning how to do everything than on documenting the processes.

The thing with multi-media projects like videos is that they don’t lend themselves particularly well to timelines or binders full of step-by-step instructions.   Luckily, I was able to find a great tool called Jing to capture images and videos of what I am doing onscreen, and then use those screen captures to develop tutorials.

With Jing, you can capture still images and videos of actions you perform onscreen, both with or without sound.   This makes it perfect for augmenting a presentation or training that you intend to give in person, or for creating a stand-alone tutorial that people can view online.

It is incredibly straightforward to use.  A quick download, and then the tool appears right at the top of your computer screen, whether you are online or not, available for you to capture images or videos of anything on your screen.

Jing has really helped me to quickly and efficiently explain a lot of steps in a relatively short time.  The videos are limited to five minutes each, at least on the free version (there is a pro version that they offer as well, but its not necessary for my needs).  And by capturing images of exactly what I’m doing onscreen, I can get right to the point without wasting  a lot of words.

The one thing that puts a kink in it’s workability is that the videos are captured as .SWF files.   As far as I can tell, this means that you can only view them online, or with a flash player (I’m not too savvy on the details, so if someone knows if you can view them offline, and that this is rather easy, please feel free to speak up and let me know :P)  If you don’t have internet access where you want to show the video, which is the case in which I find myself, then it throws a wrench in your plans.  However, you can show still images on or offline, which is still incredibly useful, especially if you only need to make a training that you can explain in person.

So, happy Memorial Day, and good luck making your work have a lasting impact!

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