Building the Train as We Chug Along the Tracks 5 to one-on-one calls only. The paid version allows up to 15 users to be in a single video conference. Discord, a popular chat platform, is another alter- native to Webex. Similar to Slack, Discord allows users to set up multiple channels for different needs. Discord also provides support for video chat- ting with up to 25 participants, allowing more staff to participate in a single video chat. However, it does not have robust administrative controls, limit- ing how system administrators can set up the program for all users. While much of the work of the training committee was live presentations, the committee also prerecorded many sessions that contained demos of databases and other tools. In order to facilitate that, the training committee staff primarily used a recording software called Screencast-O-Matic. In addition to recording the visuals from webcams and/or computer screens, it also provides a basic video editor, support for captioning, and automatic cloud hosting of files. The recording and basic video editing features of ­ Screencast-O-Matic are available for free, but more robust editing and host- ing features require a paid license. Training committee members recom- mended it for its ease of use, particularly for editing videos, and its low cost. The screen recording was combined with a cloud hosting platform pro- vided by Central Piedmont called Panopto. Panopto provides support for both recording and hosting videos. The cloud hosting feature allowed for all training committee videos to be centrally hosted and maintained in one location and provided a set of control options for the videos, including who has administrative permissions for video management and viewing access. Because Panopto is tied to the main Central Piedmont login system, that also gives video creators the option to capture detailed information about which staff watched the videos and for how long. Although the training committee did not make use of this option, it is helpful in case there is ever a need for critical training that all staff will be required to view. To ensure that all staff members regardless of ability could access and engage with training, all videos and recorded versions of trainings were given closed captioning. Panopto provides support for automatic closed-caption generation, creating captions based on its best guesses for what was being said. While this automatic captioning was not perfect, it produced highly accurate captioning that was easy to edit whenever it made mistakes. Free alternatives to Screencast-O-Matic and Panopto exist, although free video recording options tend to lack the same power and features. Tech- Smith Capture is a popular free software, although it limits the amount of time a video can be recorded and does not provide support for captioning. For storage, YouTube is a popular and free hosting service that can store videos and automatically generate captions that can be easily edited. Lastly, the members of the training committee benefited from having access to remote desktops through Citrix. Despite staff working at home having a variety of setups and software, all staff had access to a Windows desktop with standard software, such as the Microsoft Office suite, as well
Previous Page Next Page