If you are using Jing, it is time to upgrade to Snagit.

I had a faculty member this week who has been using the free screencasting tool Jing for some time and uploading the resulting videos to Screencast.com.  He found the tool very easy to use and over time he has built up a collection of videos for his students.   However now that he has been using the tool for awhile and his students have been viewing his videos Screencast.com wants to charge him either $9.95 a month, or $99.95 a year for hosting.  The free account from Screencast.com comes with 2 GB of storage which is plenty for the flash videos that Jing produces, however the 2 GB monthly bandwidth limit is not.  If you pass the monthly bandwidth limit (which you will fairy quickly if you use the tool often) your videos will stop working and you either pay money to Screencast.com or you move your videos off to another hosting location.    Most faculty will pay the $9.95 a month to get the videos streaming again however would prefer a no cost long term solution.

Snagit Logo My current favorite tool for screencasting is Snagit.  You can create videos just as quickly as you did with Jing, but now you can create videos longer than 5 minutes and you can output to a variety of locations for hosting or storage.   You are no longer locked in to producing to Screencast.com.  Although I still use Screencast.com in circumstances where the video is a 1 time use video, anything I plan to keep and that will be watched many times over I either produce to YouTube (which is currently still free) or I save the file as a .mp4 and upload it to 3C Media Solutons (a free media hosting and streaming  service for California Community College Faculty and Staff).

Snagit Output options for PC
Snagit Output option for MAC

The Snagit software is a very inexpensive tool that you will use often.   If you buy the software on Techsmith’s website it retails for $49.  However if you are associated with a school you can get academic pricing for $29.95 at Journey Ed or Academic Superstore. Well worth it. I have not gone an entire day at work without using this tool!

Aside from creating videos, Snagit also creates screenshots that you can decorate with callouts, arrows, and more.  You can produce those to a variety of locations.  My favorite is the output directly to my e-mail. Can’t get any simpler than that when doing tech support.

So I have convinced you to move over to Snagit.  What about your Jing videos you already produced on screencast.com? You want to still use those but don’t want to pay screencast.com $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year for hosting.

Step 1: Log on to screencast.com and download the videos.   I recommend switching yourself over to the Library Beta version of Screencast.com (this is in the right corner after you log on).  When you are in that version you can select all of your videos and then click download.  You will be able to download all your videos as a batch.

Step 2:  The videos you have downloaded in step 1 will be in the  Flash (.swf) format. YouTube and 3C Media solutions will not upload .swf flash files  You have to convert them first.  Many tools exist to convert the videos, however I use  Camtasia Studio.  You can download a trial version that will work for the conversions.  Open the .swf files you downloaded in Camtasia studio.  It will convert the files to .avi files.  Save the file to your computer and then you can upload those to YouTube or 3C Media.  Camtasia Studio even has a utility within it you can upload directly to YouTube.

September Online Ed News You Can Use

Hope your semester is starting well!

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Update and Opportunities

You probably heard that MiraCosta is one of 24 colleges selected to participate in the pilot of the statewide Online Education Initiative. Much more information will come as this initiative proceeds; feel free to contact me if you have questions. Two opportunities are open now to all faculty: first, courses offered through the OEI will be reviewed by peer faculty – you can apply to be a course reviewer – deadline Sept. 12. Second, the OEI is seeking input by Sept. 22 on the selection of a common course management system to be used for the OEI.

Program Review Support

As your department works on Program Review, please consider me a resource if you have questions about online education data and planning. In the portal, you may access the Online Education program review data packet if you wish to examine college-wide data on success and retention by course modality and student demographics. The Chancellor’s Office Datamart site can also be useful for queries if you’re interested in historical and/or statewide outcomes data for distance education.

Student Orientation to Online Learning

Over 130 students have attended one of these one-hour sessions this fall, adding to the more than 100 that attended earlier this year in spring and summer. If you are incentivizing student attendance, please contact me for a list.  Two more orientations will be held in October – see TASC’s site for details.

Online Student Supports

I find during the student orientation sessions that most students are not aware of (but get very excited about) MiraCosta’s free online tutoringonline writing support, and 24×7 Ask-A-Librarian (under Ask Us) services available to all students. Please direct your students to these great resources!

Captioning Support

MiraCosta’s Access Specialist, Robert Erichsen, coordinates support for captioning of audio/video materials via the DECT grant. Please contact him (rerichsen@miracosta.edu / 760.795.6684) by Sept. 12. Also, the CCC system’s new 3CMediaSolutions enables you to request captioning on videos you upload to the site for storage/streaming.

Professional Learning Opportunities

  • San Diego CCD invites your participation in three upcoming online education events: A Day with TechSmith on 9/19; Blackboard Symposium on 10/3; and a faculty-led Distance Learning Summit on 10/24. Let me know if you’re interested and I can provide more details.
  • Participate in webinars and courses this fall from @One or the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources; review an archived MiraCosta online ed.
  • ConnectedCourses is a free online community running throughout the fall exploring socially connected open education, facilitated by a stellar lineup including MiraCosta’s own Lisa M. Lane, and beginning on 9/15.
  • Univ. of Central Florida maintains the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Browse it for ideas; attend a webinar on 9/17 at 11 am to learn more; even submit your own online teaching strategies.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

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