23 Things for Research – Thing 15: Making and sharing podcasts and videos

I was slightly limited in what I could do for this ‘Thing’, as a result of having no microphone on my computer. This only left me with the option of creating something visual.

I have never created a podcast, nor a video before, so it was fun to experiment with the tools that are available. I tested out screen capturing by using Screencast – O- Matic. I created a video showing library users how to use SOLO, the library catalogue. It was interesting to see how I naturally move the cursor around the screen. When I have watched videos in the past that instruct on how to do something on a computer, everything is really smooth and controlled. My cursor was jumping around the screen a lot as I read information and decided what to do next, which would be distracting for the person watching the video. It became evident that a lot of preparation would be needed in creating an instruction video to ensure the best experience for the learner.

It is important to make sure that any material added to videos and podcasts does not infringe copyright. I explored Creative Commons Search, where you can find copyright-appropriate images. It was very easy to use, although the quality of images was not always great, perhaps to be expected from freely available material. I also had a play with The Internet Archive’s audio archive, where you are able to freely download music and radio. I searched for “Poirot” and was returned with lots of recordings of Poirot stories. I searched for something a little more modern, “Christ Moyles”, and could listen to lots of past radio shows. An excellent service! And one that could come in very useful when creating videos.

In terms of research, creating podcasts and videos would be a great way to promote your studies. Simply uploading them to YouTube, for example, might well get some views but using your various social media profiles, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to promote the podcasts/videos further would no doubt increase the number of hits your video gets.

For me, I imagine creating podcasts and videos could be useful in a library environment, especially as people expect information anywhere at any time. If, when the library is closed over Christmas and a student is attempting to do some research, a video covering how to search a database on the library webpage would be really helpful for them. The Bodleian Law Library, for instance, have a video on how to find things on your reading list.

Perhaps I should get thinking on the kind of video that would be useful for our library users.

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