Wednesday, February 12, 2014

First Look: My Review of TechSmith Relay

This semester I'm involved in pilot testing a new screencasting service called TechSmith Relay from TechSmith, Inc.  It's described as "an organization-wide learning solution, giving anyone the ability to record and share videos as well as measure their effectiveness. TechSmith Relay includes an easy-to-use desktop and mobile recorder, built-in quizzing and analytics, plus media hosting that helps you manage videos."

In short-- it's a well thought out service especially for schools and let's you essentially DVR some or all of your teaching from your traditional desktop/laptop or even a mobile device!  Imagine the benefit of having your students rewatch your lesson while doing their homework.  Or, watching your lesson before they arrive at class the next day.  Since I constantly have kids missing from class, this has been a huge timesaver when getting my absent students caught up to the rest of the class.

For years I've been using software tools like Jing, SnagIt and Camtasia Studio as a teacher to create video tutorials of classroom content.  My students have created numerous screencasting projects as well.  However, the technical knowledge needed to go from idea to finished product was sometimes difficult for some non-techie types.  TechSmith Relay ends this frustration by making it a seamless experience from idea--to-recording--to watching online.  Plus, they've added capability for teachers to actually know whom is watching the videos made for students (or fellow teachers) via their analytics features.  Adding optional quiz questions along the timeline is a breeze too.

I'm very happy that my students and teachers now will be able to download and install the recording  software on their home or school PC and their mobile devices to create content.  Getting that content to me or the rest of the class couldn't be easier as there are built in group capabilities for sharing within your organization.

Watch the embedded video below or on YouTube for my demonstration as an excited week 1 user of TechSmith Relay:



Learn more about TechSmith Relay at their website:
http://www.techsmith.com/techsmith-relay-k12.html