I have in the past posted about using presentation software. I still am not totally happy and still looking for better solutions.
After hearing students’ requests for recording of lectures, I have used Camtasia Relay to capture lectures – this consists of a recording of the screen with audio – a good compromise without full-blown video. I have used it for 3 lectures in the Introductory Programming module, though haven’t heard back from students whether they found it useful or not. More local information about Camtasia is available.
It seems to be particularly suitable for Powerpoint presentations, because going directly to a thumbnail of slide takes the presentation (and audio) to that point. Luckily for that module I used Powerpoints prepared by my colleague Stephen. Also it seemed okay for that module where all the visuals were on the Powerpoint, rather than using a whiteboard or other media. But these are two issues which will affect any use of Camtasia on other modules, where I use PDF files, and whiteboards.
Talking of PDF, one source of frustration is that I cannot easily underline or highlight parts of the slides, or mark them in any way as I would with old-fashioned overheads. (At least not with the equipment I have available.) I finally found that okular is a PDF viewer that works well in Linux, and which supports “reviews” where slides can be annotated. Not ideal for presentations but better than simple viewers like acroread. I will try out okular in a few weeks when I start teaching again.
Any more ideas on how to improve PDF document use in lectures?
PS: I am sure I do some of the things in: How To Do Everything Wrong In A Presentation