Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Creating Tutorials & Demos - Introduction

So you think you are in a library technology program huh? And you are thinking the only thing you are going to be doing is shelving books, doing Inter-library loans and keeping the pervs out of the bathroom?

Psst. I hate to break it to you but you might find yourself training a volunteer, a staff person or a patron on how to perform a task. You might find yourself in front of a group of students explaining a technique or concept.

Wait a minute - we do that already! Ok, what if you have to do the explaining on-line? What if you need to create a demonstration that is available 24/7 and you don't have a lot of time or money. Or technical skill?

Or you feel that you are, dare I say it, "not creative"?

So I'm going to try to make my case to you that not only can you create simple tutorials and demonstrations that you can post online, you can do it for free or very little cost.

There are free and low cost alternatives to posting content on the Internet. I want you to have the ability to make a tutorial in a short amount of time. Once you get the basics you will be amazed at what you can do and the resources that are currently at your disposal.

Just to let you know, I am a Windows XP user. However as much as possible I will be looking for platform independent software and tools. Many of the new products are Internet based applications.

I'm not ignoring the Mac'rs and the Linux crowd. I'm really going for concept more so than platform preference. To the extent possible I'll match up Mac and Linux equivalents but I can't vouch for them because I can't test the quality of the program.

The Current Outline:
  1. Planning the Tutorial/Demonstrations
  2. Storyboarding
  3. Tools for Creating Tutorials/Demonstrations
  4. Photos on Web Pages/Blogs
  5. Photos with Audio Narration with a side order of Public Domain/Copyleft music
  6. Slide and Animated Presentations (Not necessarily PowerPoint)
  7. Screencasting
I'll try to stick to the order but I'm finding so much great stuff I might have leap back and forth.

Tutorial Examples

To start with I want you to get a sense of what folks are doing with tutorial and demonstration presentations. There is a range of options. Here are a few to get you started:

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