A couple weeks ago I completed a video that I made using Captivate by Adobe. It is the second in depth video I have created, and it turned out pretty well. I was able to get a little creative utilizing a variety of creative commons pictures on it. It is kind of personalized towards some of Champlain’s resources, but it explains the research process well. Have a look.
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.