I care less about the walls of an LMS than I do about schools that keep my course content locked up on their servers. At first, you think it’s a nice service to you, but when you’re thinking of leaving that institution, you realize that those streaming presentations won’t exist for you after you’re gone, and what if you’re going to another school to teach or just want them as examples? So, I’m planning to screen record the ones I want and publish them to YouTube just to be able to put them on my portfolio. Maybe your new institution will have the same streaming services and you can republish there, maybe not.
What I want from software are portable files that I own, that play in a variety of situations, and that can be shared easily. Here are the offenders where I am now: Adobe Presenter, Camtasia Relay, and Respondus (for tests). If you can’t get these applications at home, you don’t really own the content you made with them. Faculty should think twice about making content with software that doesn’t result in a portable file they can take with them. If I were doing any workshops on these apps in the next two weeks—and I’m not—I would add advice on how to make sure you have versions to take with you:
Adobe Presenter: These presentations are made from PowerPoints. In the resulting files folders, you can find the audio files of your narration and you should remember to take your PPT. You could put those slides in a public Prezi and add the audio files to each slide. Although it doesn’t create a comparable presentation, there is a Mac application, Adobe Presenter Video Express, that does interesting screen presentations—and you get to keep the file.
Camtasia Relay: You won’t even be able to find the file for any screen recordings made with this software because they are instantly published on the school’s server. I wouldn’t waste my time with this software. Get the full Camtasia Studio or Camtasia for Mac and enjoy the full editing of your recordings.
Respondus: Although I never made tests with it, you can print them out and should if you want to reuse them elsewhere in another format. They publish to your LMS, but do not print well from there nor export into a useful format.
If your school makes you feel safe by telling you your stuff is in its cloud, make sure you ask about portability and whether the content would be considered yours to take with you.
*I should have added all the lessons in the college’s new private SoftChalk Cloud, because it’s not clear that I could transfer those files easily or publish them outside of an LMS.