At the Ref Desk (1/16/19): Today's funny: Got an IM from a student asking who to contact for an overdue book. I texted him the phone number for Access Services. Student replied back that he'd call once his class was over. Um, right. [more...]

'Ape with a Termite Stick': Jon Udell on Screencasts

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/25/07 (12:11pm)

Learn by seeing other people doing things. We used to call it 'monkey see, monkey do'. Jon Udell calls it "ape with a termite stick".

In any case, that's what a screencast does and Udell, who's done a number of them, has a nice write-up, "Screencasting Tips" that's full of observations like the following:

Given all the network connectivity that we have nowadays, it’s perhaps surprising — but nevertheless true — that we have few opportunities to directly observe how other people, who are proficient users of software tools, do what they do. Screencasts are the best way I've found to make such tool use observable, and thus learnable.

I'd only add that as the variety and importance of these software tools grow, so too does the need for good examples.