Saturday, January 29, 2011

Screenr.com for Teaching and Learning

Screenr.com is my screen recording tool of choice.  I have used JingPro and regularly use Camtasia when I want a more sophisticated screencast with callouts and  other fancy editing options; but for the 'quick and dirty' work, I turn to Screenr.  I can tweet out my screencast, download it as a mp4 file,  publish it directly to YouTube or just grab the embed code for fast embedding onto my class wikis.  It's fast, easy and free.

Recently, I have been using screenr mostly for pedagogical development.  I maintain a wiki for the teachers where the treasures and ideas are "warehoused".  Using screenr is the quickest way to show a colleague how to do something.  Yesterday someone asked me about embedding pdf files onto wiki pages and I wasn't sure how to do that.  This morning I figured it out (pretty pleased with myself) and made a screencast with screenr.
Here it is - complete with my "umms" and pauses as I search for my words!



Recently, I have been spending time finding other educators (and persons of interest) who also use Screenr as a teaching/learning tool.  Today I found @learningppt (who blogs at learningppt.com) and @Antlak (who blogs at technologywithoutborders and who is a fellow teacher and edtech person from Edmonton, Alberta).  After spending a bit of time on their blogs, it decided I needed to add them to my PLN - personal learning network.  If you follow someone on Twitter, you can use their 'handle' (user name they tweet with) to find them on Screenr.  In the address bar, type "screenr.com/user/their name" and you might be surprised to find them there!

I also discovered (today has been a big learning day) a search tool for Screenr created by Dave Mozealous.
Type in a key word or phrase into the search field and this handy tool will return all the searches for you.  Click on the screencast and see who produced it.  You might find a kindred spirit to follow and discover lots more to learn.  You can even bookmark Screenr's blog and get the latest updates.

Of course Screenr is not only for teachers; my students use it too for presentations and other assignments that they embed on the class wiki.  I have even used it to help my mother learn how to send links and attachments in her email.  She has it on hand for easy reminders and doesn't have to get uptight about not remembering how to do something (happens to me all the time!).

Screenr is just one of those fabulous and free web 2.0 tools that help me teach and learn.  Like my wikis, I wouldn't teach without it.