Missives from the Bat Tower

Doing 23 Things all in the name of Web 2.0

Archive for the tag “Screencast-o-Matic”

The end of 23 Things?

do all the things

Today we had our celebration to mark the end of 23 Things. Helen and the 23 Things team provided some yummy cakes and biscuits and I managed to nab a cup of tea – a lovely way to spend half an hour with colleagues. We had a bit of a discussion between us about what we had thought of the program and overall the feedback was positive (this may be due to the fact that it was a celebration of the project and if you didn’t enjoy it even the prospect of free food may not have lured you in). Some felt it was really helpful to have the weekly sessions so that help could be given when needed. I would have liked to attend the sessions but unfortunately didn’t manage to get to any but the first one because they fell when the bat tower is open to researchers and we were overrun with them last term! When I did have any queries I emailed Helen and she was quick to respond but it would have been nice to get an idea of how other people were getting on (face to face rather than virtually).

I haven’t finished all of the 23 Things yet but I think I will carry on with the ones I’ve missed out but so far my top three have got to be:

 1. Blogging and Google Reader (I’m lumping these together because they’re both about blogs)

 2. Twitter (turns out there are loads of Archivists on Twitter!)

 3. Dropbox (this is the one which will be most helpful to my day to day work)

But there are lots more of the Things that I will be using in my work in the coming months (e.g Evernote, Diigo and Screencast-o-matic).

Oh and guess what… I won a prize! (Turns out some people have actually been reading my blog.)

Thanks 23 Things team!

Thanks 23 Things team!

Watch this space for the remaining things…

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Thing 17: Screencast-o-Matic

With a name that sounds like something from a Wallace and Gromit story and a promise to help users actually use the archives catalogue, I was keen to have a go with Screencast-o-Matic. Our archive catalogue does actually work quite well but it isn’t very intuitive, especially for first time archive users. A screencast seems like the perfect solution to show people how to use some of its features – mainly how to browse collections from your search results.

I found the whole process of recording a video with Screencast-o-Matic very easy. The controls are simple and there are a few things you can customise (like whether to highlight the mouse in the video). I even found the caption writing a breeze which I thought might be a bit more tricky. You have to write a text file with the captions and the timings you want for them and then they appear at the bottom of the screen. It took a little bit of fiddling to get the timings right but after I’d sorted that out I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

But… when you finish your video you have a couple of options, you can either upload it to YouTube or Screencast-o-Matic or download it as a video file. I wanted to put it on the RHUL Library YouTube channel but I didn’t have the log in to hand so I thought I’d save it to Screencast-o-Matic in the mean time. All was well, I could share the link – great. However, when I came back to try and upload it to YouTube it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as I had hoped. There was no longer the option to do it straight from Screencast-o-Matic but I could still download the video as a file. So I saved it and then uploaded it to the RHUL Library YouTube channel which was all quite easy. When I played it back my lovely captions weren’t there! Disaster! I didn’t record a voiceover because a) I don’t like the sound of my recorded voice and b) a voice over isn’t very helpful if the user is in the library so the captions are quite vital.

I haven’t yet worked out how to rectify this so to see the video please follow this link (I can’t embed it because WordPress is mean and strips out the code and I’m not tech savvy enough to work out how to embed it another way). I suspect I may have to record it again to upload it with captions to YouTube but if anyone has any tips please leave me a comment below!

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