We have a number of remote workers at UKOLN, with staff based in the south west, south east and north of England and Scotland. We are making increasing use of networked technologies to support the remote workers – with a workshop session on “Embracing Web 2.0 Technologies to Grease the Wheels of Team Cohesion” being given by my colleague Marieke Guy together with Andy Ramsden, head of the e-learning unit at the University of Bath at this year’s IWMW 2008 event.

When preparing for a recent training course on “An Introduction To RSS Readers: Google Reader and Netvibes” I thought this would provide a useful opportunity to explore the potential of screencasting, which is described in Wikipedia as “digital recording of computer screen output“. In my case I used the Camtasia software to record the screen display together with my accompanying audio description of what I was doing. I had also created an accompanying PowerPoint presentation which acted as my script. I had intended to also sync the sound with the PowerPoint slides to create a Slidecast on the Slideshare service, but didn’t get round to doing this, this time.

Initially I had intended to make this available just for colleagues at UKOLN (the remote workers and office-based workers who couldn’t attend the session). But it strikes me that the screencast may be useful to others – and, indeed, a colleague of mine commented that “I found it useful to have the seminar available in this version (I was on holiday on the day of the seminar). As a remote worker, I would welcome similar initiatives for future seminars.” So although it isn’t as polished as a professionally made video I thought I would share it with readers of this blog.

A question I would have is should we encourage the production and sharing of such screencasts more widely? Would you be willing to do this for training sessions you may give? And, if you’ve watched it, how useful have you found this screencast?

Note: via Phil Bradley’s blog I came across a post on Common Craft and Google Reader which provides “a new short video just over a minute long demonstrating Google Reader“.  [This note added on 1 Sep 2008].