Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Use Jing to Create Quick Online Tutorials

For the past two years or so, I've been using Jing to produce quick online tutorials (aka "screencasts") that capture what I am doing on my computer screen. Jing, which is free, is a product of TechSmith, the company that produces Camtasia, which is not free.

Jing is great if you need to make quick online tutorials. Noteworthy features of Jing are:

* Record your voice narrating the tutorial

* Create a JPEG image of any part of your screen that can be labeled, annotated, and highlighted

* Immediately generates a URL to your tutorial that you can share with others or post to a website, even to Twitter and Facebook

* Both PC and Mac compatable

For $14.95/yr, you might consider purchasing JingPro. This allows you to save your tutorials as movie files that can be easily uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or to your own web server.

One big thing to keep in mind about Jing is that you CANNOT edit your recordings. You'd have to buy software such as TechSmith's Camtasia or Adobe Captivate to be able to edit your recordings. These programs I'd suggest you use if you're looking to make lengthier and more interactive tutorials.

But for its amazing ease of use, I'm all about using Jing!

Watch what Jing has to say about itself:

Also check out their blog for more tips

As a huge advocate of efficiency and accessibility to creating online learning materials, I encourage you to go forth and Jing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Genes to Cognition Online

The Genes to Cognition Online (G2C) website is an amazingly dynamic and interactive way to use multimedia to teach neuroscience. The resource is a project of the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

G2C looks across and analyzes six levels of thinking and thinking disorders and research approaches:

*Genes *Biochemicals *Cells *Brains *Cognition (Behavior) *Environment

Its interface appeals to both the visual and textual learner. The dynamic map of networks connect topics and allows the user to interactively explore the content, which includes videos. The site's creators state:

"We hope visitors will integrate information from the levels to gain a broad understanding of topic areas. Ultimately, this networking process mimics the nature of science: amalgamating information from different domains to form a complete picture of the world."

The upper right portion on the homepage has a link to Teacher Feature that provides teacher's guides, student worksheets, and suggested test questions.

Also in the upper right region of the homepage is a link to a Protein-Protein Interaction Database. You can find brief descriptions of proteins and get links to more detailed information from resources such as OMIM and Entrez Gene.

This is the same group that developed the 3D Brain App that's available for free to download from iTunes Apps Store.

Watch their introductory video on how to use this resource.