26. February 2015 · Comments Off on ISpring Pro for Course videos · Categories: ISpring, Technologies

  ISpring is software that adds a plug in to PowerPoint that allows you to create embedded, narrated presentations with the option to record webcam video and upload resources with your presentation. I use it and so do my current work colleagues because it is part of the toolkit provided. I’m not endorsing it – just posting some discoveries I’ve made.

Version 7 has a couple of nice features that include allowing for video to take the dominant spot and to import publishing settings so that you can set up once and not have to re-set every time.

Using iSpring has a few advantages to recording straight to camera software.

The main one is that you can record video one slide at a time. So if you have a broad range of topics to cover, you can record and re-record in small chunks without having to edit.

Secondly, it’s straightforward to upload the zipped file output up to a Moodle file resources and unless you particularly want to embed the video in a page, you can simply unzip it, nominate the html5 index file as the main file and set the file to open on click to provide students with a video and player.

Here is a document that gives step by step instructions – I hope you find it useful.

A short, quick brain-dump post…

 Conditional activities in my LMS, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
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17. May 2014 · Comments Off on Mediating the power dynamics of online spaces · Categories: My personal learning journey, Social networking, Technologies

""As we mature in our use of social networking and online spaces – could it be that we’re losing touch with why we use them?

In his book “Disrupting Class”, Clayton Christensen says that disruptive innovation – such as social media tools – work best when the innovation is competing against non-consumption (that is, it’s better than nothing”.

Do your professional social networking spaces work as an innovation for group discussions that cannot occur face to face? If so, should not the same rules apply to these spaces as in face-to-face spaces?

When you set up an online space in the name of an organisation, consider the norms you’d establish if you were hosting people in a discussion area in your organisation. Hopefully these norms would include:

  • establishing behavioural expectations both formally and by your own actions
  • ensuring power dynamics are flattened
  • ensuring everyone understands the purpose of the space
  • recognising that different cultural, gender and age lenses will result in different responses and reactions
  • neutrally mediating disputes by taking them out of the shared space to be resolved privately
  • addressing issues of discomfort or disagreement appropriately and gracefully

However, in an online space where you are introducing the images, videos, articles and news items for discussion – the power dynamic defaults to one where the editor (you) is perceived as having the most power and, unless carefully moderated, the majority rules.

Because of the asynchronous nature of the text-based discussions that occur – there is a tendency to think of them as publishing spaces rather than a tool to facilitate online discussion.

Therefore, if one or a few people disagree with something you’ve published online, the majority can quickly over-ride those few with an avalanche of likes and dissenting comments – leading to a spiral of silence and feelings of isolation.

In a face-to-face setting, most experienced group facilitators would ensure that a lone dissenter felt supported and that their opinion was of value. If they picked up that the person was shy, the facilitator could take them aside during the break or after the session and draw out more about why that person was uncomfortable. In the main discussion, the facilitator would ensure that everyone accepted that all opinions expressed within group norms had equal value.

So, as we gain maturity in the use of online spaces and other technologies for discussion, let’s ensure we think about why we’re using these tools. We can extend our ability to reach out and help us to support and educate people in new ways – and use traditional group discussion facilitation to ensure that everyone feels they are a valued part of the community.

13. December 2012 · Comments Off on Sweet 16 or so things I need to remember about Articulate Storyline · Categories: Articulate Storyline, Technologies

Another messy blog post that’s all about things I want/need to remember…

1) It caches like STEEL TRAP. If you make changes, you need to click Preview to see them. Just changing, saving and hitting play will not always show your new edits.
2) To bring in bullet points one by one, you need to choose an animation type in the animation tab – then select – by first level paragraph.
3) Video embedded in the slides will not provide the option to expand to full screen. If you have small details, you will need to upload your video and may be able to embed the player – YouTube works a treat. I was unable to do so using our proprietary media server Viostream as its player requires javascript be embedded in the header tags of page templates. Just trying to trigger Javascript didn’t work.
4) CTL Z doesn’t work as expected. I found I bounced back to previous slides. Not sure why this happens, but don’t assume it will work as expected.
5) Don’t assume the sound quality you hear as you edit or preview is the final version. It is a compressed preview version – you need to publish to hear the full quality.
6) Javascript doesn’t work in Preview mode. Test slides with Javascript by copying them into their own project and publishing.
7) Set text boxes to “Do Not Autofit” – this sometimes doesn’t seem to stick between computers.
8) If using a line in mic for screen captures, go to screen capture mode, Turn off mic (line in won’t come up as an option anyway, I disabled my mic in Windows 7 just to be sure), select your line in as SPEAKER.
9) When timing several objects on screen to audio, where possible, record audio in chunks and match up to events.
10) Watch for events that aren’t timed to last until end of screen if you want them there. Some are set to appear for a set length of time and won’t allow you to adjust slide duration. Others cut out just before the end and disappear.
11) When shortening the length of a slide, if an event has a fixed time it will blow past its cue point so that it can stay on for its set length of time.
12) Set up a name for the variable you want to change that you’ll remember – the more generic, the more margin for error. Ensure you’re changing a T/F value or text as relevant.
13) Trigger order matters! Where possible, find a template that does what you want and backward engineer it. There are loads out there programmed by clever people.
14) To pull out MP4 vidoes when using Storyline for screen captures, you should set up a New Project first, just for your screen capture. Once a screen capture is complete, you’ll insert it into a slide – pick the single slide option – then need to go back up to screen capture, act like you want to insert it again, but this time right click on the video you see and save it as MP4.
15) If you plan on publishing Storyline as a SCORM package in an LMS, you will need to program the Next key on your last slide to Exit.
16) If you plan on publishing Storyline as a SCORM package in an LMS,the end message “The content has ended. You may close this window” isn’t useful for Moodle courses. To change it, publish it but DON’T EXIT THE PROJECT and DON’T ZIP. Go to the folder where the output was published, open the named folder, go to te LMS folder, right click on the Goodbye.html file and open in your fav editor (I use Notepad ++). Edit the message to something like “To return to the main course page, click on the course name in the horizontal text navigation at the top left of this page.” Save the file and close it. Go back to the Articulate project and THEN zip the project using the options in the publishing window there. Then, upload the zip to Moodle. You could of course get fancy and program a button or link to link directly back to the course page…

Hi all!

I’m on the prowl for an easy to use, low cost webinar tool and thought I’d trial Skype premium. If you’re near your Skype account and Skype device tonight (Wednesday, 11 April) – I’d welcome your participation in a test call to kick the tyres on it.  I’d like to start the call at 6:30pm Adelaide time (see the Event Time Announcer for the time where you are).

My Skype name is kerryjskype.  Please use the Contact form on this site to send me a message if you like. Otherwise, ping me on Skype tonight.