As far as screen capture utilities go, I’ve used Adobe’s Captivate, TechSmith’s Camtasia, and the open-source version: Camstudio. I won’t say I’ve used them all often enough to claim proficiency, but I am at least comfortable enough with each to be able to get started and going relatively quickly. I prefer Captivate over Camtasia for its editing capabilities, and because it seems to work better with other Adobe applications, which I use often (Premiere, Photoshop, etc.). I think Captivate has finer control over editing, too–at least the versions I’ve used.
Regardless of which tool, I’ve found screen capture utilities to be an invaluable resource in software usage documentation. It’s so much easier to show a user how to execute a set of process steps rather than resorting to text-only instructions.
I enjoyed reading Mark Milliron’s Catalytic Conversions blog–I think he really does have a talent for examining concepts related to education from different and unusual perspectives. While I do appreciate and embrace the Digital Natives vs. Immigrants comparison, I understand his objections–if for no other reason than there does need to be some way to distinguish between different natives’ levels of comfort and expertise with different and emerging technologies. His belt analogy at least incorporates the idea of growth, but I think the spectrum is too wide to separate into belt levels. I really appreciated his thoughts about introspection, and how it is an undervalued exercise usually reserved for a response to something–when it has such potential to be a proactive exercise. At least, that’s what I took away from his post…
As far as the sites related to universal design, my prevailing opinion (shared by many, I’m sure) is that I don’t believe enough thought is given to universal design, especially when it comes to state-of-the-art or “fad” technologies. I think there is a prevailing sense of urgency to embrace the next “big thing” without dedicating enough consideration to how it will impact those for whom universal design is most needed. That’s not to say that whether or not a particular new technology conforms to universal design standards should determine if it gets adopted at all. I just think universal design principles should be considered much earlier in the adoption process than it currently seems to be. And I can be just as guilty for not factoring it in unless there is an immediate need for it–which is something I hope to remedy.