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H808 – Multimedia as evidence (CA 4.1)

October 16, 2010

This time we were asked how we can create and store evidence of our engagement with different media in the following types of activity on H808?

Here are some of my ideas and my experiences with different types of multimedia.

multimedia definitely has its advantages over text, and they offer as well the possibility to address different type of learners, including students with certain types of disability. But, multimedia also has it’s downsides, and someone can get easily lost playing around losing the purpose of the evidence. And especially for disabled people, as e.g. multimedia cannot be interpreted by screen readers, or a student with a hearing impairment cannot listen to a podcasts. Therefore we should be aware of accessibility issues. I am doing next to this course H810, which as that as subject, so I am more aware of that.

I came around Xtranomal during my H800 studies and saw how one of my peers created great movies dealing with the H800 learning objectives. That inspired me to create my own little movie where two students discuss the rationale of reflective writing. I embedded it in my blog and into Mahara. I also offered a transcript to ensure accessibility by all. The slogan from Xtranormal ‘If you can type, you can make movies’ really apply and after creating an account you can instantly start. Unfortunately most of the actors and scenes now cost money, but some are still free and even if you use actors or scenes with costs would one movie cost no more than one dollar or so, thus not too bad. I plan to introduce Xtranormal to my students, they are aged around 15 -17 years old and I hope they love it as much as I did. The simple tool makes it easy to combine fun with learning.

Although some people dislike PowerPoint presentations do I think a good presentation can convey content in a short, straightforward way, including images, audio or multimedia. But, a presentation that has 39 slides and is full of text does not really attract any audience. Presentations can be shared in slideshare and you can link, e.g. from your blog or repository to this website. Opening an account allows you not only to upload presentations but also to download them. Presentations run under creative commons.

I recently used Audacity, an open source software for recording and editing sounds. You can create MP3 or WAV files and upload it into the internet. Here is the link to all the features this tool offers. I offers an alternative way to present evidence (user engagement), but I still find it somehow strange to hear myself talking. Providing a transcript would be good practice as well. One last thing I just recalled, you have to download as well the LAME MP3 encoder, but I also saw that the use of audacity is explained in one of our sources ‘O’Reilly network‘.

I think it will be interesting to hear the ideas from my peers and to discover new ways to present material.

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