Video learning keeps getting easier

etpI’m not sure about you, but I love watching movies, often for entertainment. My wife usually manages our Netflix queue, which consistently has 300+ titles on it, and I’m piling up more as I think about what I want to see. Occasionally, I like learning new things by watching videos. There are so many providers out there, and as I mentioned earlier, Autodesk now has there own YouTube channel, but then again who doesn’t? You can even watch previous years’ Autodesk University classes online at au.autodesk.com.

Also, for those that are interested in learning Ecotect, I’ve been pointing them to the training packages available for download (see image to the left). These really give the student a head start, and when I come in to provide training, we can cover in-depth the topics that matter most to them.

Which brings me to my own efforts to reduce communication barriers through the use of free video clips, as in the past three posts. I’ve been posting on YouTube and Screencast.com. My reason being: they both have their strengths. Screencast.com is much higher quality, and I can keep it ad free for a reasonable cost, while YouTube offers more ways to stumble upon my work. Of course, no sooner do I start using the free Jing (a free Windows and Mac OSX screen capture utility), that it’s maker, TechSmith also now has Camtasia for the Mac, and it’s only $99 until the end of the year. It’s very full-featured for such a great price.

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Now you can easily stitch together shorter videos made with other tools or other platforms, or capture the screen directly and craft highly professional looking videos, on a Mac. I especially like the “Smart Focus”, zoom in effect. This will make creating tutorials formatted for smaller screen, like an iPhone much easier to read – so look out for those in the future. Check out the tutorials, especially the getting started series to learn more: Tutorials for Camtasia for Mac. There’s also news on the site that they are in the process of developing Snagit for the Mac as well.

I’ve been using products from TechSmith for years now on the Windows platform for creating learning videos and visual help files for architectural firms, similar to content offered at CADLearning.com. Check them out, these videos are a great complement to instructor-led training and can increase your ability to retain concepts learned. There are courses for most of the popular Autodesk products, and more are coming on line regularly. Full-disclosure: I was involved in working closely with instructor Reid Addis for the CADLearning “AutoCAD Architecture 2010 Tutorial Series”, and have authored earlier versions of the course.

I’ll continue posting free lessons here at “Paradigm shift”, while I continue to explore new and interesting ways to combine video with live instructor-led training. It’s just another way of adding value, and helping you be more productive, at 30 frames per second.

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