My first slidecast

As part of the broadcast strategy review at the OU, I wanted to show the different types of outputs that academics can produce which might be considered broadcast in some sense. One of these is slidecasting (the combination of powerpoint and audio). I upload my powerpoint files to Slideshare regularly, so thought I’d try adding the audio to one too.

It’s a bit fiddly – you have to upload the audio to a different site, as Slideshare don’t host it (yet). Synching the audio with slides took a bit of getting used to (I even had to look at the help splashcast), but once I had the hang of it, was pretty smooth and easy to use.

I chose the blogging workshop I did a while ago with Tony Hirst. Be warned, as I’ve said before, I have an ideal voice for mime. Listening to yourself is tough (I ran the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday, and if you think listening to yourself is deflating, try seeing photos of yourself running), I um, err and smack my lips like Cliff Richard quite a bit, but it’s usable. So, here it is, enjoy!

9 Comments

  1. Nigel says:

    Cool stuff Martin! I haven’t found a way of making the slides bigger though and my aging eyesight couldn’t cope with some of the smaller stuff. I’m writing some stuff for the Sussex Learning Network and I’ll be linking to this.

  2. Martin says:

    Thanks Nigel – if you go to the original on slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/mweller/th-ou-shalt-blog you can select Full and have the full screen display. Sadly it does not make my voice ‘full’.
    Martin

  3. AJ Cann says:

    We want a videoblog!

  4. Hi Martin
    As a reluctant blogger I found this presentation really useful and I’ve shared it with the rest of my CETIS colleagues – guess I really should blog about it tho’ shouldn’t I:-)
    Enjoying your blog a lot.
    Cheers
    Sheila

  5. Lynne says:

    My first experience of a slidecast – what a fascinating compromise! Uploaded presentation slides are rarely all that useful, in my opinion, to anyone who wasn’t there, yet a full webcast is tiring on the eyes, rarely allows the content of slides to be seen & not everyone is comfortable with being video-recorded. The fullscreen version (thanks for asking, Nigel) with voice-over steers a neat path between all these pitfalls. I like it :-)

  6. Martin says:

    Hi Sheila, thanks for the comments, glad you liked it. And yes, if you think you should be blogging it, then you should be blogging it!
    Lynne – yes, it is a nice compromise. I put it down to glanceability. I don’t watch many videos as you can’t skim them well and they require full focus, whereas I think you can have a slidecast going and be doing other things as well. I’ll have to try doing a few more.
    AJ – no chance!
    Martin

  7. John N says:

    Martin — nice experiment. Well done. You need a better audio-recording set-up though. I use a Zoom H4 (see http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2007/06/01/4096) but you can get a stereo mike for recent iPods which also does a pretty good job.

  8. Sarah says:

    I really like the idea of combining audio into online presentation… but my main concerns are to do with quality and time. Whenever I attempt any recording using home equipment it ends up sounding like I’m talking into the toilet and to create anything of any quality takes a good deal longer than the finished result. Did it take long to knock this together? The end result is sooooo much more engaging than the typical silent slideshows which 99% of the time veer towards the ‘death-by-Powerpoint’-esque.

  9. Martin says:

    Hi Sarah,
    this was done just using my inbuilt microphone (so you can hear my dog creaking around in her basket in the background). As John says, it would be improved by using a proper microphone, which I’ll try next time.
    It didn’t take long (if you discount the time to create the Powerpoint in the first place). It took me a while to get the hang of how the synching works in Slideshare, so I spent half an hour getting used to it. Then it was a simple record through. The other thing that took time was to host my mp3 file – I had to reactivate an old Switchpod account.
    Martin

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