Jing Project

Screencasting, the practice of capturing what is on a user’s screen, is a growing trend. The technology can be used to create training videos when teaching software, or other computer-related tasks. Several software publishers have come out with some large and expensive software for this task, such as RoboDemo, Captivate and Camtasia, but TeacherJay wanted to take a moment to tell his readers about the Jing Project, and some its many uses.

The Jing Project is an experimental software from TechSmith, publishers of SnagIt and Camtasia (among others) – two of the leading screen capture applications. This new project combines the best of both, is free and is easy to use. Once installed, the software leaves a small yellow circle on the screen. Clicking it brings up icons to change settings or to capture. Once the capture, button is pressed, yellow bars appear on the screen for the user to select an area to capture and then an option to capture a still image or a video. For an image a snapshot is made and a new window appears in which the user can add test, arrows or highlight a portion and then save the image. For videos, stop, pause and mute buttons appear. When the recording is stopped an instant playback window appears and he file can be saved, or shared on Screencast.com.

They offer a more comprehensive video demonstration here.

TeacherJay can think a lot of interesting uses for the program in an educational setting. Some of the most basic ideas are simply making screenshots of windows to print out and show to students just getting used to the computer to show them what they may see; or even making reference materials of things like the list of commands under the File Menu. A little bit more involved include making screencasts of common and/or difficult procedures for students, such as logging into particular programs, or attaching a file to an e-mail. More advanced screencasts may use the audio recorder to make demonstrations complete with voice-over of doing things like adding transitions to PowerPoint Presentations or even how to show teachers how to use gradebook software.

Pros Cons
  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Does not slow down computer
  • Always running in background
  • Works on Windows and Mac
  • Keeps a history of all old captures
  • Built-in capacity to upload to Screencast.com
  • Only saves in PNG and SWF formats
  • Videos cannot be edited
  • Images cannot be trimmed

Overall, TeacherJay recommends Jing Project for the novice user. It makes capturing simple images and videos much easier. PNG is a very common format that can be used on the web and imported into a more powerful image-editing application, such as the GIMP. SWF files require the Adobe Flash player, which most people will have, but they cannot be edited once they are created. Still, considering this software is free, it’s a great way to get started in screencasting.

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2 Responses to “Jing Project”

  1. Paul Harrington Says:

    Teacherjay – I so agree with your comments re the ease of use of Jing, the big drawback as there has to be one with software in beta trial is with the limited space and bandwidth in Screencast where the videos upload – you can purchase additional space, however a popular screencast can quickly use all of the free space available.

  2. Teck Says:

    Hello Teacherjay, great article thank you for posting this I started using Jing Project, today I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the software I was reading in your article that images in png format can not be trimmed They can but it requires a photo editing software like PhotoShop, Gimp, I was a bit bum about not be able to upload videos to youtube because of the SWF format..

    Because I make tutorial videos I found out the hard way that Jing only allows 5mins of video time which some time is just not enough time for some the videos i’ll be making so I found this free software called Cam studio so I thought I
    would let you and your readers know that is a good beginner video capturing software that saves with AVI format …

    Please check out my article on this subject
    Free Video/Image Capturing software! « Teck~Line

    P.s. I made a video for my article that you can
    find at the bottom of my post… Thank you again

    Teck


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