I played around with Jing a little bit a few days ago and made up a quick tutorial. It is much easier, and cheaper (free) than Captivate but without all the bells and whistles. It looks less professional, but you can get things up much quicker. As for all technology you just have to find a balance. You need to examine the current situation and see what tool will best fit the job. Applying the same tool every time just because you think it is cool or sexy is not a useful way of implementing technology. Knowing what tool is will work best is the correct way to implement technology.
It was a fun technology to play with, and I think it could have some really great uses. I could see it being very useful in things like tech support, or reference questions that include detailed computer instructions. You can simply record your mouse clicks and voice at the same time, explaining it like you would to a patron who was there at the desk. It then creates a flash video you can e-mail to the patron. I look forward to playing with Jing some more. Also the web services librarian Jonathan told me about another screen capture software called Utipu that may even have more features. I may have to check that one out too.
As part of a practicum I created a Captivate Tutorial about a feature in the database Historical Abstracts. There is a lot of time that goes into making tutorials look professional, but they can be very useful in a number of situations. They are excellent for things like distance learning. Also they can be used over and over by different people until the database or resource changes and the tutorial needs to be updated.
I know that I enjoy using tutorials and learning on the web, especially because they are free. Moreover you can learn at your own pace. You can replay something, or watch the tutorial at 3:00 in the morning. They are there at the point of need.
I look forward to doing this more and playing with other free screen capture programs and applications like Jing and CamStudio.
I decided that I should set some professional goals for myself and document them. Then I can look back at them and see if they are being accomplished. I recommended that others do this as well. They may shift and change but goals will give you a focus for your career.
As I move into my professional career I have three primary goals:
- Become an expert researcher
- Increase my skills in web and emerging technologies
- Be a leader in helping libraries to become more user-friendly
In order to achieve the first goal I plan to obtain a position where I can use and practice the research skills that I already have, but also learn and develop new skills. Through obtaining a position in which I can perform reference and research I will be able to gain knowledge of new resources or ways of searching.
Finally I see that there is much work to be done in libraries. Often libraries are much more difficult to use than their commercial and web counterparts. Therefore, in my career it will be my mission to try to begin to bridge this gap and become a leader in making libraries more user-friendly. To do this I will need to conduct research on users including things like focus groups, surveys, and usability testing. Then on the basis of this research, propose and carry out solutions to these problems.
These goals will guide me in whatever position that I obtain. They will be the framework upon which I will be able to hang specific accomplishments.