Camtasia 5.0

April 8, 2008

Once again, I chose to challenge myself and learn about another new Web 2.0 tool called Camtasia 5.0 (30 day trial version) to create a video documenting the process that I went through to create my Major Digital Project for EC&I 831 and then decided to do a video reflection about my EC&I 831 Journey. I didn’t realize just how much of a challenge I was up for.

A few months ago I downloaded Jing and used it to create a tutorials about how to use Ning and what is RSS and using Google Reader. I found Jing fairly user friendly and had few problems using it. Perhaps one of the downfalls (or perhaps it is a good thing) is that Jing only allows 5 minutes of recording time. I wanted to experiment with Camtasia, but found out that it was no longer freely available. Then I heard that there was a free 30 day trial available while watching the great videos that my classmate Walter had created and Jing began coming up with viruses on my computer (not sure why).

I downloaded the free 30 day trial of Camtasia and went into the program and had to double-check that I had not accidentally opened Windows Movie Maker, because it looked very similar, which sort of disappointed me because I had already learned and used Movie Maker at the beginning of the semester to create my bio video. Right now, I am thinking it would not have been bad if it was like Movie Maker! Camtasia has the same layout as far as the timeline, storyboard and some of the editing features, but then goes beyond that to let you capture video, audio and information from Powerpoint too.

I viewed several of the tutorial videos that Camtasia has available, however, I am one of those people that learns by doing, so watching a video is only average for me – I have to dive in. I wrote a bit of an outline so that I did not miss anything and then opened a number of tabs in Firefox so that I could move seamlessly from one idea to the next. This worked fairly well, but I had to record several times because at first, I could not recognize when the recording had started, then I was forgetting to include some things, and towards the end, I was losing my voice due to coughing with the cold I picked up last week. After all of the battles with recording, I finally had a finished recording which I now needed to put together on the timeline. This part wasn’t too bad, but it was difficult to align the video with the audio sometimes and took a bit of fine-tuning.

When I finally had all of the information that I wished to include, I went to produce the video. The rendering took a really long time and then was in a format that Screencast.com did not recognize, which was frustrating since Screencast.com is where Camtasia suggests you upload your video to and I had chosen the format that Camtasia suggests. After re-rendering several times, in various formats, and then changing how I got the video into Screencast.com, I had my first video ready. Whew!! One more to go – oh no!

Actually, when you consider that I didn’t spend tonnes of time learning all of the features of Camtasia, the videos turned out alright.  I hope to spend some more time tinkering with Camtasia and see if there is an easier way to render, because this part really made my computer work (it was humming and I was ready for it to either start hovering or go up in smoke).

Anyways, in the end, I created the two videos that I was aiming for, so I am happy despite my struggles.

Here is a video summarizing the process I went through to create my Major Digital Project for EC&I 831The HR Connection.

The HR Connection Video

Please let me know if you are unable to open it – I had some MAJOR technical difficulties which I will discuss in an upcoming post.

Wired for Sound!

March 26, 2008

After seeing some of my classmates use Voki on their class blogs, I thought it might be an interesting way to welcome people to my HR social network – The HR Connection. After some assistance from the Ning crew as to how to embed the code, I added the Voki to the main page. It is a pretty cool tool and super easy to use. Give it a try and get wired for sound! I did 🙂

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.voki.com posted with vodpod

Jing and Ning

February 29, 2008

It seems funny that out of all of the tools available on Web 2.0, I have been working for the past few days on the rhyming pair – Jing and Ning. I just wanted to share my experiences using them since I am a new user for both tools.

I decided to try out Jing to create a screencast for our collaborative class wiki project in EC&I 831. I had downloaded Jing a while ago, but hadn’t really found a suitable time to use it. I decided that I should try it out to show how to sign up to use Ning, which is a website where you can create your own social network based on a specific interest or focus. Since I had created my own Ning for my Major Digital Project, I thought it would be useful for my own development also.

I found that Jing was fairly easy to use. I read a few FAQ on the website and went through the “Getting Started Stuff“. I played around a few times just to get my microphone set properly and stop stuttering through it with the “uhs” and “ums” which were quite frequent! After the initial few hiccups, I got through the points I wanted and had used up the 5 minute limit for the screencast.

Some lessons learned though and the hard way. DO NOT embed this on a wiki. The screen size is huge and I ended up wiping out the menu on the page that lets you navigate and therefore edit the page – oops! I ended up doing a work around and renaming the page from social networks to social networking and adding the screencast as a link. The other issue I had was trying to figure out where my screencast was. Jing uses Screencast.com to host the items that people create. Once I figured that out, it is as easy as logging into Screencast.com and clicking on your project. Then at the bottom of that screen if you click on details, it displays the information for the URL, the embed code or to email it. In the end, it worked and I was inspired to add more information to the page and hope to add more when I can.

I hope to play more with screencasts and wanted to try out Camtasia Studios, however, that is not offered up free anymore, so it is back to the drawing board. Going to check out some of the ones listed on this site. If you have tried any out, I would be interested to hear your opinions on them.

I signed up on Twitter a while ago to check it out. While I have had a few interesting chats and connected to a few people, I really wasn’t “getting it” even after viewing some demos and reading several testimonials about how great it was.

I have FINALLY figured out how powerful Twitter can be as part of building my network. If you have been following some of my recent posts on my blog, I have been struggling with ways to increase the membership on my Ning site, The HR Connection. Several people have offered great ideas that have helped. One of the suggestions was to use Twitter. I tried this once a while ago and really did not see any results. Today though, I was told that I had a new follower, and through him, I found other HR people and started following them. Not only did I find new twitter people, but I had 2 join my Ning site and found out about Terraminds to find more people with HR backgrounds that were using Twitter by going to one of my new connection’s blog, Gautam Ghosh.

Finding an audience

February 22, 2008

I am having fun learning about Ning and have got my network (The HR Connection) up and running. I am finding this project a lot more difficult because I do not have a prescribed audience like a classroom. I have a few members, however, nobody is contributing (which is sort of the point of the site) except for me. How do I encourage others to join and contribute to this network?

See my post about the methods I have already tried to attract people to join.

Thanks for any help you have to offer 🙂

Animoto – a video is born

February 12, 2008

Please feel free to check out the video I created using Animoto to promote The HR Connection site that I created yesterday.  I can see where students would love using something like this.  It is a neat tool.