Jing for Tech Tuesday

THIS IS MY FAVORITE WEB-BASED TOOL.  Did I say that loudly enough?

Jing rocks.  Plain and simple.

Jing allows you to create free five-minute screencasts and take screenshots with ease.  A screencast is a digital recording of your computer screen.  That means, anything you do on your screen could be recorded and shared with others.  I use this ALL the time with students (and my mom - more on her later).  I use Jing in a variety of ways:

  • Walk students through how to access online course information
  • Teach students how to do something (like remove hyperlinks or create APA-friendly title pages)
  • Give quick instructions via a screenshot
  • Offer verbal feedback on a student's work (I don't have permission from students to share those examples publicly but basically students submit an assignment electronically to me and instead of typing or handwriting comments to them, I speak and walk them through their assignment while Jing records it).  Then, I save via the "share" option and simply send the URL/link to students in an email. This description sounds 100x more complicated than it really is.  Trust me.
  • Teach a colleague how to add shapes and animation in PowerPoint (this is just Part I of this particular mini-lesson)
  • Drop subtle hints to my husband I am ready for a road trip to Colorado.  Shocking.

Jing is absolutely free and their online tutorials are a must watch as they are short and to-the-point.  I would start with their first tutorial; I have no doubt you will be a pro in no time.  My department did splurge and buy me Jing Pro for $14.95/year.  Though the Jing banner ad that appears at the top of the free version isn't uber-annoying, I like my Jings banner-free.  Plus, you can easily upload your Jings to Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter (and add webcam footage) with the Pro version.  However, keep it simple and start with the free version (again, trust me).

To narrate your screencasts, you do need a microphone.  I use a headset with attached mic that I received free at a workshop a few years ago.  My point is most any microphone will do.

Operators are standing by.....He he he.....

By the way, my mom has gotten more tech savvy over the years, but when she can't figure out how to do something on her computer, she calls me.  The best way to teach her, I have found is Jing.  So, I tell her to give me five minutes.  I put on my mic, record a Jing (about how to use Excel, create a new document, etc) and send her the link via email.  She thinks I am a tech rock star :)

Fooled her.