Or how I used technology to turn plan B into a possible plan A.
Today I turned up to a lecture with my lap top only to find that the LCD projector that I thought that I’d booked wasn’t booked! As I’ve gotten into the habit of almost exclusively using projected presentations in my lectures this could have been a disaster. But this year I have an additional weapon in the armoury: over the summer I’ve invested in an educational license for Camtasia. So after a minute of near panic during which I considered postponing the lecture, I decided instead to turn it into an e-learning trial!
Here’s what I did.
There was a white board so I could write down the key points and sketch the odd diagram thus avoiding just reading my slides to the students. I also had my faithful MP3 player with which I routinely record my lectures, for uploading to Blackboard as podcasts.
I quickly set up Camtasia to record my web browser and ran the presentation (it’s actually written in DokuWiki and the S5 plugin) as I would have normally. I scribbled the odd keyword on the white board to give the students something to look at, while I used the presentation as a prompt.
At the end of the lecture, I saved the video screen recording as a Camtasia Project. Off-line, after the lecture, I converted the audio recording to MP3 format, uploaded it to Blackboard and added it to the course as a podcast episode as I normally would. Then I imported the same MP3 file into my Camtasia prioject and added it as an audio track to my project’s “time-line”. The most difficult part was getting the audio synced to the video, and next time I’ll need some form of virtual clapper board to make this easier.
Finally the whole thing was converted to a Flash Video and uplaoded to my web site. Follow the link to see the result.
Now my students have the lecture notes and the presentation in the form of a wiki, the recording as a podcast and a video of the actual presentation.
I’ll be interested in hearing from them (and you dear reader) if this is an experiment that should become another way of quickly making e-learning materials.
Chris Jobling September 30th, 2008
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