Besides using the built in camera on my laptop to practice storytimes, I’ve never actually made a video of any sort, let along an instructional one. I have watched a fair number of these videos, in my online classes, and during the Learn & Play program, and so understand that there are various ways that they can be put together. Helpfully, this past month’s School Library Journal ran an article on creating screencasts called “That’s Infotainment” . This contains information on what types of instructional videos are currently being used, tips on how to make them, reviews of software, and how to publish and promote them.
From this article, and the instructional videos I’ve seen over the years, I’ve seen a number of different kinds of instructional videos. One way that I’ve seen used is pairing power point presentation or slide shows with audio commentary. This is good for lectures, and can be combined with screen shots to demonstrate steps to take in any process. On the whole, it seems to be a very text heavy medium, which makes it difficult for children to follow. It might be best for library catalog stations that do not have audio capabilities or fast processors.
Another option is using a video camera and recording someone demonstrating something, using props, and even the occasional sign board. These aren’t as easy, since you have to have a pretty good quality camera to get a clear picture, and a steady hand or tripod to hold it. Plus it is hard to show someone how to use a computer program using a video camera, because of the glare off the screen if nothing else.
Perhaps my favorite instructional video method for library technology instruction is the screen capture. It allows users to see what the steps look like, and what to do when, while still allowing for sound and text together. The problem with this is that most of the screen capture utilities are quite expensive, and even more so are the editing tools required to polish them.
While I continue to review these libraries’ electronic resources, I will experiment with the various tools out there to create screencasts and other electronic instruction tools. My next area for review are the electronic databases that libraries subscribe to, either directly or through State Library services.