This evening I created a 7 minute screencast (using the screen recorder included in freely downloadable SmartBoard software, incidentally) to explain how to create a free Skypecast. I’ve uploaded the screencast to YouTube (a first for me) and also embedded it below:

Technically speaking, I did further compress the video as a MPEG-4 file using QuickTime Pro. The settings I used reduced the screen resolution from 800×600 to 640×480, and the file size from 136.7 MB to 11.3 MB. This was needed because uploading and downloading a 100+ MB file for a seven minute clip is really not realistic. YouTube, along with Google Video, uses a server-based processing alogrithm that converts uploaded video to Flash (.swf) format. This allows the videos to be displayed in any web browser that has the Flash plugin installed. The Windows-version of SmartBoard software’s screen recorder application records to a proprietary AVI video format, that requires subsequent conversion to Windows Media format using a free conversion utility available from Microsoft. See this page for more details, look under the heading “How can I share my AVI file in SMART Recorder Video format with someone who doesn’t have SMART Board software?”

If you’re interested in screencasting, VoxMedia has a nice collection on their wiki of screencasting tools to check out. A variety of both commercial and free screencasting software tools are available. The main reason I chose to upload to YouTube this evening rather than Google Video is that Google Video delays publication and sharing of uploaded videos based on a “preliminary review process” while YouTube does not. I am not thrilled with the converted quality of this video, so I’m going to upload to Google Video and compare results.

BTW, if you didn’t hear, Google announced it is going to purchase YouTube today. It will be interesting to see if the editorial policy / pre-screening policy of YouTube changes to match Google Video’s policy after the acquisition.

P.S. I am REALLY not pleased with the poor quality of this converted video, so I’ve uploaded the converted MPEG4 QuickTime file (12 MB) to the Internet Archive via the OurMedia Publisher tool. This is the link to access the full-quality screencast. (Much better than the YouTube version, I think.)

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3 Responses to How to create a skypecast

  1. […] educational technology, Microblog, Skype.   Add to EdBloggerNews    Print This Post Wes Fryer has created and shared (via YouTube, so you can put it on your site) a screencastshowing how to create a Skypecast. A Skypecast, for those who don’t know, is a way to have a massive conversation with various people. It’s like a conference call on steroids. Incidentally, this is what the EdTechTalk guys use to produce their show, along with another piece of software. If anyone in the UK (or elsewhere) is interested in setting up a Skypecast to discuss various things to do with education, please let me know! Bookmark:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  2. Keith Schroeder says:

    Can you share more information about the screen recorder software?

    Thanks!

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    You bet Keith. I’ll do a post later in the week, for now you can refer to the tools page of K-12 online for a bit more info on screencasting tools.

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