I continue to be in awe about the options educators have today for simple, free tools that allow us to create video content in minutes — with no video editing or recording skills whatsoever.

Seriously…it’s amazing!

Not too long ago, I had heard about Movenote, an emerging tool that enables a user to upload PDFs and images and record video from her webcam at the same time. The video is sync’d with the slides, providing an incredibly simple method of creating a straightforward recording of a presentation.

Yesterday, I received a pleasant Speakpipe voice message from one of Movenote’s representatives who had seen me Tweet about their product. They told me about cool new feature they had just released that integrates Movenote with Gmail. I was intrigued. Here’s the deal – if you use Chrome and Gmail, you can install the free Movenote Chrome app for Gmail and it will install a button directly in your Gmail interface that, when clicked on, will launch Movenote. From there, you can upload your content, record your video, and paste the URL directly into an email and send it. BAM! Integrated workflow. Nice.  Click here to see a video of the new Gmail to Movenote workflow.

As for me, I still needed to experiment with Movenote. So I created a tutorial — hhmmmm, what to share? What to share? I know! Yesterday, I was excited to see how simple it had become to launch and share either a Hangout on Air or a good ol’ plain Hangout (which is basically a group video call) in Google+. To me, this process has been confusing for awhile and it especially took me quite a bit to understand how to invite people to my Hangouts if they were not in my Circles. So, I created a tutorial about “A Simple Way to Start a Hangout.” This tutorial does not cover Hangouts on Air, only Hangouts (there is no recorded or public element in Hangouts).  I hope this is useful in understanding what Movenote looks like, as well as learning how to start a Hangout!

Rule of thumb: When created any video, aim for 5 minutes in length. If you go over by one or two minutes, you’re ok. If you are closer to 10, you should probably cut that content into two videos.

In short, I found Movenote incredibly easy to use. The thing that took me the longest was creating my slides (simple annotated screenshots I made with the help of my friendly essential, FREE tool companion, Jing).  After I recorded with Movenote, the video processed quickly, I had the ability to copy the link, I was provided with embed code in different size options, simple social sharing buttons, analytics to see the number of views through each share method, and there is also an option to download my Movenote video to a non-watermarked .mp4 file. So I could use Movenote to create my video content and upload the videos into YouTube … which, honestly, is more my workflow.  Once videos are in YouTube they can be captioned using YouTube’s online captioning tool (listen, pause, type, repeat).

I don’t see any negatives here, folks.  Are you using Movenote? What are your experiences?

I think this would be a great tool to have students generate simple, videos too.

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