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Adopting Screencasting (Bernd)

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Technology and the Classroom Learning Community:  Summary of Work

Bernd Becker, Bernd.Becker@sjsu.edu and Webmail


As a librarian offering reference services and research consultations, it is extremely important to be able to effectively communicate with students while meeting them at their point of need.  This is becoming increasingly difficult to do now that more of our students are becoming distance learners, or they simply can not add another appointment to their busy schedules.  Therefore, I find myself constantly providing research consultations via email.  For the most part, this is an adequate form of communication. 


However, due to the fact that I am having to use email to both explain new software (in the form of electronic databases) as well as describe what the student needs to consider while carrying our their literature search, these emails can tend to be technical and arduous.  Even though I do offer online research guides, is impossible for any subject guide to address every aspect of the patron’s research experience.  This is especially true for some of the more technical obstacles such as accessing and manipulating database features that are not readily apparent to a new user. 


As a result from participating with the Technology and the Classroom Learning Community, I learned that our students are responding favorably to faculty using technology to provide personalized, audible feedback.  Throughout the course of this learning community, we shared ideas and demonstrations of screencasting software.   Immediately, I recognized that I could greatly benefit from adopting this technology. 


I learned that it might be more efficient to create a recorded demonstration rather than writing out each step of the research consultation.  Released by TechSmith, Jing is a free program that can record video up to five minutes of onscreen action (http://jingproject.com).  Unlike some other video recording software, Jing is easy to install and simple to use.  The video file Jing creates can be sent directly in an email or uploaded to a free and secure website hosted by Jing. 


Not only have I learned about the benefits of using this technology for our students, I have also begun sharing this information with my library colleagues.  Taking what I have learned, I have already held a demonstration for my colleagues on the benefits of screencasting responses to student inquiries.  The benefits are numerous.  Screencasting these research consultations will not only save us time from having to type out detailed emails, it also provides the student with the ability to see, hear, and mimic the process of using a research database on hospedagem de sites


Due to the positive feedback I’ve received from sharing these ideas with my colleagues, I plan on hosting similar learning community for the SJSU librarians during the 2010-20100 academic year.  I will be teaching them what I have learned from the Technology and the Classroom Learning Community and developing other new ideas for fostering student learning.  This community has been a valuable tool for me and my work, and it has resulted in dissemination of new technology implementation for SJSU librarianship.

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