This week for the blog, I've decided to focus on technology. I will be highlighting some excellent tools that will not only be useful for those at foundations but also for grantees who are looking for cost-effective technology solutions.
I would like to highlight a recent screencasting tool that I came across. Screenr is a free tool that allows you to create up to a five-minute video that captures your actions on screen. You can also use your computer headphones to add voice as well. You can sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, Google or Yahoo sign-in information and start recording. The best thing about it is that there is no software to download like other screencasting solutions such as Jing. Once you choose to publish your screencast, it will be made public on your account (I don't believe there is a private publishing option). You may also publish to YouTube or download the MP4 file itself.
So what can you do with it? Well for those involved in training their patrons to use information products like databases and websites, you can use this tool to create a short screencast, publish it, and download the MP4 file so that it can be uploaded to your organization's intranet. Once you have the MP4 file, just delete the copy on your Screenr account to disallow viewing by those not within your intended audience.
For grantees who are looking for another way to get their message across, you can use Screenr to create a short video that provides your site's visitors with an overview of your organization's mission, history and highlight any opportunities that the public can become involved in. You could also upload a similar video on YouTube to help raise awareness of the issues your organization is involved in.
As for my own experience, I recently used the tool to create a video for the National Library of Medicine's Video Contest. Contestants had to make a short video (1 minute or less) to help promote the NLM's information resources. I chose to create a video that used my Second Life avatar to share why I preferred NLM's PubMed information tool. I also closed captioned the video to ensure access to those who may have problems with their hearing. You can view that video here.
Give Screenr a try and tell me what you think. How do you think you can make use of this tool at your own organization?