Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Screen Cast Without Installing Software

Screen Toaster is a promising new service that will allow anyone to create a screencast without having to download and install any software. Screen Toaster will allow you to create and share videos of what your computer screen. Creating screencasts is a great way to demonstrate how to use a new piece of software or a new website. Screen Toaster is still in beta so you need to sign up and wait for an invitation to be sent to you.

Here is a Screen Toaster screen cast demonstrating how to use Screen Toaster on Mac OSX.
Recorded with

Applications for Education
Screen Toaster could be a great way to show students and staff how to use a new piece of software or a website without having to answer the same questions or repeat yourself 9,000 times. Linking a screencast to your class blog or wiki is a great way for students to be able to get help when you're not available.

Google Earth and Google Maps Tutorials

If you have thought about using Google Earth or Google Maps in your classroom, but have hesitated because you're not feeling comfortable with it or you think it will take too long to explain to your students, these tutorials are just what you need. On YouTube there are two channels offering how-to videos to help you get started using Google Maps and Google Earth.

Here is a demonstration of navigating Google Earth 4.3.

If YouTube is blocked at your school you may want to try one of these alternatives.

Show Document - Show and Tell for Documents

Show Document is a free service for sharing and editing documents collaboratively. The service is simple and, in my testing, is easy to use. To use Show Document simply upload a document, click "launch a your live session," then enter the email addresses of the people you would like to collaborate with. The screen capture below illustrates the sharing process.

Applications for Education
While you cannot create an original document on Show Document it is a good tool that could be used for peer editing of documents. Show Document is also a useful tool for teachers to use to give feedback to students who are not in the classroom.

I originally discovered Show Document on WebWare and then on Larry Ferlazzo's blog. If you're looking for services similar to Show Document you may want to check The Office 2.0 Database.

Zoho Updates Layout Options

Zoho Writer, a great online word processor, has announced another improvement. As of today, Zoho Writer now supports creating and printing documents in landscape format. This is not a ground-breaking improvement, but it does eliminate another excuse for not using cloud computing word processing programs.