Friday, 8 May 2009

What if a virtual classroom is not accessible and you are left to your own devices to record a session?

Last week I wanted to use a virtual classroom to record an eLearning showcase we were having at ITM (were I work). Unfortunately the hotspot was not stable enough at that time and so I had to improvise to be able to redistribute what was happening in the room on a later date...

So yes, there are different virtual classrooms (dimdim, eluminate, wiziq...) and they have advantages (they save editing time, allow people to join synchronously and add questions), but there are days you simply have to take initiative and come up with workable solutions yourself if the connections fail you. To be honest, those are the type of challenges I like above all. So after two days of intense cutting and pasting, I did realize the time consuming part of it again.

But on the other side, cutting and pasting does have an advantage, you can just add anything you like. In this small - how should I call it? - let's say: asynchronous-presentation-non-socialmedia-mash-up I have pasted real life movies into the powerpoint's that were shown, edited video and audio, got some extra's in (links to some showcases). So overall, I can integrate whatever in my own asynchronous virtual classroom, because I can mash-up anything I like. That is something pleasing.

Of course this does lack interactivity and I could have opened some social media apps, but I do have some solutions for that in mind. Actually, I think I am going to plan a mash-up virtual classroom in which different apps are located in a central portal, but enabling different social media to interact with what is going on... I will get my mind working on that. Because although virtual classrooms are nice, I miss social media of choice interaction in them... and movies...

So for those interested, I linked life recordings, with mp3, with additional movies (original formats ranging from wmv, avi, flv to quicktime) and put it all in a website to give a structured and browsable overview.
(I do apologize for the quality of the movies, I did not focus on the speakers with my camera settings... but next time I will be ready!).

Hardware used: logitech pro 9000 HD webcam, portégé Toshiba R600.
Software used: camtasia 6, eXelearning 1.4, AVS converter, FLV player.

Our eLearning team only had 45 minutes to show a small selection of our latest developments to a general audience. So do not expect a lot of technical specifics, but the eSCART and mobile part might be of interest to you. The eSCART features some different solutions we have used in a fully online course and the mobile part focuses on mobile data research software.

The link:

If you know a virtual classroom that enables you to upload movies and integrated social media of choice, let me know, I would love to check it out.