Let me preface this post by saying that it’s about  a month or so overdue… The days in August just before the start of a new semester are excellent times to play catch up with my work…

Early August, TechSmith hosted a screencast camp in their headquarters.  Screencasting enthusiasts from all over Michigan (and beyond) attended the weekend event.  Some even accepted TechSmith’s invite to bring their camping gears and camp out ! Yes, s’mores were involved.  Not to mention food, alcohol, goodies and giveaways, movie nights, and camp-site games.  All after the screencast sessions ended of course.

The way the sessions were set up was not what I expected. It was a pleasant surprise when the organisers informed us that we (the attenders) were responsible for deciding on, scheduling, and actually presenting ALL the sessions on that Saturday and Sunday!  Basically, we had to build and pick our own experience.  Soon enough, individuals were coming up to the front of the room and giving a short, two-minute introduction to what they wanted to share with us during the 45-minute session. Presentation topics ranged from demos of TechSmith tools like Camtasia and Snagit to interactive whiteboard apps, storyboarding, and iBooks.  We had a wide array of sessions to choose from.  At the end of that planning session, I went back home overwhelmed – but in a good way.  It was exciting to read the titles of all the presentations not knowing exactly what to expect. Looking back at that, I wish I had signed myself up for a session. Definitely next year.

The following day, I attended my first presentation pick of the day: Creating Reusable Templates  in Camtasia .(yes, they had set up Google docs for each session and we took collaborative notes).  It was a smooth and simple start to my day.  Lesson learned: Create a template with your custom intro and outro to your  video. That way, you need only drop your video into the template and voila!

In the second session I attended, I Experienced the Flip: Flipped classroom design.  I have to admit that I spent the first 15 minutes or so of that session doodling… The presenters did not have anything (really) prepared and wanted the audience to share how they’ve using flipping in their classrooms.  Then, the session came to life.  I guess there’s something about putting 20 or so K-12 teachers in a room and asking them to describe their flipping strategy that really gets their hearts pumping!  I HIGHLY recommend checking out the various links in the shared Google doc.

To keep this post quite short, let me move on to (what was for me) the most exciting of sessions…  Please don’t take my word for it and go and explore all the fabulous links on that Google doc.  Not, I’m sure most of you have seen the RSA Animates series.  You know, the ones where you have an artist drawing whiteboard animations to accompany a short podcast?  Well, if you’ve always been envious of Andrew Parks‘ skills, I have one word for you: Sparkol.  Go ahead and unleash your inner whiteboard animator!

Here’s a sneak peek:

In conclusion, be on the lookout for TechSmith screencast camp 2014!

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