Written instructions are great, but sometimes it’s better to see how something is done. That’s why the library’s making videos demonstrating how to use the library and accomplish concrete research tasks. We’re kicking off the semester with an always-popular topic: how to find your textbooks in the library, whether you know which book you’re looking for or you don’t:
PLEASE share these videos with your students! Visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/saccitylibrary.
Can’t speak for everyone, but I’m quite excited about using YouTube as a platform for videos like these. Besides being a familiar place to go for online video, YouTube has always made it easy to share those videos, providing both a URL that you can easily send around and embed code to use if you have your own website (such as a D2L course site!).
If you’ve used YouTube for a few years you’ll probably remember that its video resolution used to be pretty low. In the past year, though, quality has improved dramatically. YouTube now has great compatibility with mobile devices and offers some killer accessibility features, such as built-in captioning that it automatically synchronizes with your narration. I’m also using the annotation feature to fill in gaps I notice after uploading.
More on the way
We’re envisioning a wide array of videos showing how to find books, DVDs, and more using the online catalog, find articles using the subscription databases, and use reliable Web sources. Some of these will be more polished, and some quickly thrown together. If you can think of something that would be especially useful for a class you’re teaching, by all means leave a comment for us here, or on our YouTube channel, or let me know via e-mail.
You might also look into doing some demos yourself. “Screencasting”–real-time capture of a computer screen–used to be mostly limited to expensive programs with names like Camtasia & Captivate, but these days there are all sorts of cheap and free options, including some, such as Screencast-O-Matic and Screenr, that require no installation. These low- or no-cost options don’t allow much in the way of editing, but they may be all you need. For links to more screencasting tools, take a look at a recent blog post comparing some of the options.