All 10 entries tagged Podcasting

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December 12, 2008

Video podcast seminar presentations with Videocue and Screenflow

At the Warwick Network Day event yesterday, Chris Coe and I taught a workshop that, amongst other things, demonstrated the kind of video presentations that the E-Squad do with Screenflow. We got the participants to choose a series of web pages, and then to write a short script. Screenflow recorded them reading the script, while moving around the web pages. With the big Apple 24" screens, we could have the browser on the left and the script on the right. When edited, this produced a video presentation about the web pages, with a "talking head" style inset.

The scripted approach works well. Apart from the obvious advantages, it offers the additional pedagogical benefit of encouraging participants to develop the presentation as a structure. And therein lies something of value to be exploited in teaching. How about if students were to develop their seminar presentations in this way? Not only would it help nervous students, and those with little experience of doing presentations, it would also improve the structure of presentations. I've already had discussions with teachers, and we have plans to try this out next term.

There is, however, one useful feature that is missing in Screenflow: an autocue. And so I had a look for such software that I might be able use. One such tool is in fact made by the same people as Screenflow. However, it goes further, overlapping in functionality with Screenflow.

Videocue plays a script at a selected speed, and records input from one or more sources. In the screen grab below, you can see the script, and to the right of the script is a timeline onto which the required sources are placed. So in this case, it starts with the video from the iSight camera on the Mac, then shows a photo, before moving back to the iSight. Further sources could be used, including other cameras (meaning that it would be possible to structure an interview or discussion) and video files (for example, sequences from Screenflow). When the record button is pressed, the script is read through with the appropriate source combined into a .mov movie.

A screen grab of videocue

There are also options for transitions and chroma key (for example, use a green screen to make it look like you are in Pompeii).

I'm going to trial this with some students.

It will publish to a blog or as a podcast. If I could get it to post directly into Sitebuilder and Warwick Blogs, that would be excellent. An AIR version would be even better.

April 08, 2008

Podcasting at Warwick: examples

This is a list of interesting podcast pages from Warwick University. If you know of any ommissions, please do tell me.
How the podcasts were made

With the exception of those created by the Communications Office, the podcasts were created independently by staff and students. Some initial training was provided, with 80 members of staff attending a workshop in 2007. Some of these podcasts were created by the Arts faculty E-Squad students (a team of 8 supported by Robert O’Toole, Arts Faculty E-learning Advisor).

Edirol R09 recorders are common throughout the university, with some departments also using more sophisticated Marantz recorders. The R09 is quite capable of broadcast quality recordings if used carefully. Editing is most usefully done with the free Audacity tool. Our Sitebuilder web content management system includes a podcast page type, with automatic generation of RSS feeds, as well automatically displaying a Flash MP3 player for each uploaded podcast. Once that a page is set up, new podcasts can be uploaded with just a simple form.

Professional quality podcasts by the Communications Office

Produced to showcase research and teaching at Warwick.

Warwick Podcasts Interviews with leading academics.

Writers at Warwick Recordings of visiting writers,

Writing Challenges A series of exercises to act as a taster for the Creative Writing programme.

Medieval Islamic Medicine

Student Podcasting

Created by students competing in the Warwick Podcasts Competition. Each team interviewed a member of staff or an alumnus.

Warwick Podcasts Competition 2007

Warwick Podcasts Competition 2008

Departmental podcasting

Goethe Podcasts, German Studies Using an approach that links the text of poems to an audio reading.

Warwick HRI

English Department European Novel lectures Simple recordings of lectures, helping to widen access and make them available to part-time evening class students.

Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies visiting speakers

Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre


Clinical Pharmocology

Warwick Business School

June 22, 2007

Interview with winning student podcaster

Follow-up to Warwick Podcasts Competition finale from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

The Warwick Podcasts Competition has been a success. Nine departments entered student teams. All of the podcast interviews were of a good standard. I believe them to have established podcasting as a useful and viable addition to research based learning approaches. Yesterday I interviewed Manu Raivio of the winning team. The interview is online as a podcast along with the entries. Here is a summary of some of the key points.

My interview sought to examine the process of creating the podcast, with an emphasis upon the contribution of the activity to the development of Manu and Raj’s academic skills. Significant skills work was identified in the following areas:
  • Team working – the students organized themselves into a small production team, identifying the required roles and allocating them with consideration of skills and interests.
  • Research – as Manu makes clear, preparing effectively with a sound understanding of the subject area and the interviewee was essential.
  • Accessing and using archive material – particularly relevant to a podcast dealing with historical events.
  • Awareness of the audience – consideration was given as to how to produce a podcast that could be listenable for 15 minutes. The use of a small and well placed degree of humour worked particularly well.
  • Synthesis and analysis of a range of ideas, arguments and materials. Very much an audio essay.
  • Academic and interpersonal sensitivity – being aware of difficult areas, and approaching them carefully.
  • Identifying and highlighting key points.
  • Technical skills – recording, editing and publishing.

Two areas of difficulty were identified:

  1. Finding and accessing the required audio resources.
  2. Understanding and applying the relevant copyright and IPR practices.

These are particularly problematic areas, for which we should provide more support.

A further lesson to be taken from the interview is that, with the availability of user friendly software (Apple Garage Band), editing can be easy and can add to the academic process. For example, Manu and Raj replaced a long and too imprecise question with a shorter alternative more suited to the answer given by the interviewee. This is contrary to the advice given to the competition participants, as I warned them to avoid editing. However, few of them had access to such good software.

I conclude that this case substantiates my claim that student podcasting and interviewing is a valuable addition to research based learning approaches. In addition, I also believe that it adds some support to more radical conjectures:

  1. That an audio production of this kind is in many ways equivalent to a written essay.
  2. That as a skills and academic development task it is much better than the traditional seminar presentation, but still within the ability level of the average student.
  3. That podcasting can improve student self-confidence.
  4. That reconsidering the academic process as being a production process analogous to the production of a “programme” provides the participants with a more tangible and user friendly product with which they can be more involved and responsible.

June 15, 2007

Warwick Podcasts Competition finale

Follow-up to More free iPods and MP3 recorders from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Nine podcast interviews have been submitted for the Warwick Podcasts Competition.

The Warwick Podcasts Competition for students will culminate on Tuesday 19th of June at 3.30pm, with an exciting awards ceremony in the atrium of University House. The ten student teams have each identified interviewees (staff or alumni), and are creating podcast interviews that illustrate some aspect of that person’s research or career. The students will gain valuable experience in using communications technologies, and the resulting interviews will showcase research and studies at Warwick.

You can read about the proposed podcasts at:

And the finished work will be uploaded to:

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded as part of a “champagne reception” at the end of the e-learning showcase day. If you are attending the Showcase Day, you are welcome to come to the awards ceremony.

To find out more about podcasting, come along to one of the Showcase Day sessions, or contact:

Tom Abbott (Communications Office)
Robert O’Toole (Arts Faculty)
Chris Coe (Social Sciences)
Steve Carpenter (Science and Engineering)
Stephen Brydges (Medical School)

May 25, 2007

More free iPods and MP3 recorders

Follow-up to Free iPods and professional MP3 recorders from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Thanks again to the Alumni and Development Office, the EIF and the Communications Office for providing sponsorship. As you can see, I have quite a few MP3 recorders to give away as part of the Warwick Podcasts Competition.


Mr Stevens is obviously bored.

May 23, 2007

Free iPods and professional MP3 recorders

Follow-up to Warwick Podcasts Competition open now from Transversality - Robert O'Toole


I now have an impressive stack of iPods and Edirol MP3 recorders to give away for free – well almost free. This photo shows how a small pyramid can be constructed from just a few of them.

To find out more, see the Warwick Podcasts Competition page.

May 14, 2007

Warwick Podcasts Competition open now

Writing about web page

Announcing the Warwick Podcasts compeition for students. Prizes will include iPod Nano mp3 players. The competition will be judged by a panel including Torin Douglas, media and technology expert from the BBC. This is a chance for you to get your journalism skills recognized by the media.

How? Enter a team (2-3 students and a member of staff or alumnus). We will lend you the equipment, and can provide training to use it (it is really easy). We can also provide media skills training.

Any department that enters a team will get to keep the MP3 recorder worth £300.

Only ten recorders are available, five have already been reserved.

March 02, 2007

Good response to the Warwick Podcasting Workshop

Writing about web page /kwiddows/entry/podcast_workshop/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Yesterday we (the E-learning Advisor Team) and the Communications Office (Tom Abbott) ran a half day workshop on podcasting and using MP3 audio.

Around 50 people attended from across the university. It seemed to be a big success. The discussions were lively and productive, resulting in a plan of action for extending and supporting podcasting at Warwick.

My set of showcase examples was well receieved, and shaped the discussions as planned. Sean Allan (German), Tom Abbott (Warwick Podcasts) and David Davies (Medical School) contributed great presentations about their own work.

Katharine Widdows of the library has written her own response to the sessions. I’m particularly interested in her idea of linking audio commentary to a map of the library. That should be easy using Steve Carpenters new event based audio player.

February 28, 2007

Warwick Podcasting Showcase February 2007

I’m running a 45 minute “showcasing” session tomorrow as part of the Warwick Podcasts workshop. Here is the list of examples that will be covered, with links, along with notes about what I will demonstrate.

Example 1: Katherine Astbury, French Studies
A podcast lecture in four parts.
Demonstration of embedding a media file into a Sitebuilder page.

Example 1.1: MP3 embedded in a blog entry
A short clip from a seminar embedded in a blog entry about the seminar.
Demonstrate how to embed MP3 into a blog entry.

Example 2: Lisa Lavendar, History Department
Historiography lectures, part of the forthcoming Online MA.
Postgraduate SSLC meetings asked for this, especially useful for part time students. This course is a third year undergraduate course, but a foundation also for postgraduate study. May also be used for distance learning. Uses Microtrack and lapel microphone. Minor editing wth audacity. Quality does not have to be perfect, just listenable.

Example 3: Sarah Richardson, History Department
Weekly topic and lecture introductions.
Enhances understanding and preparation for the lectures.

Example 4: Sean Allan, German Studies
Podcast to support year abroad students completing admin tasks.

Example 5: Sean Allan, German Studies
Audio to support vocabulary learning.

Example 6: Sean Allan, German Studies
Audio synchronised with a text.
Explain how this was done, and plans for developing a user interface that will allow anyone to produce an annotated and linked mp3 or video.

Example 7: Tom Abbott, Communications Office
Award winning series of interviews with researchers, presented using Sitebuilder podcast page type. Listeners can subscribe and download onto MP3 players.
Demonstrate how listeners can subscribe using iTunes.

Example 8: Careers podcasts
A series of podcasts concerning careers. Created as a podcast service to which users can “subscribe”.

Example 9: David Davies, Medical School
Advanced use of RSS, keyword tagging and aggregation in the medical curriculum.

Other useful links

MP3 recorders

ELAT Tools evaluation loans
Solid State Sound (university supplier)

Editing Software

Adobe Audition
Garage Band (Apple)

Listening and subscribing to podcasts

Apple iTunes
Juice (cross platform)
Newsfire (Mac)

Podcast directories

May 26, 2006

Podcasting, seminars and e–portfolios

Podcasting is becoming ubiquitous. MP3 players, such as those created by iriver are increasingly capable of recording audio in a high quality but easily handled format. The files that are created can be swiftly transfered to a computer, edited with free software, and uploaded onto the internet. Warwick's Sitebuilder2 web content management system has a built in podcast player. My suggestion is that podcasting could eventually form an essential activity within research oriented seminar based teaching.

Last night I recorded a seminar as part of the What Is Philosophy? project. During the seminar discussion, I made some comments that I suspect may play a key role in my research. It took just a few minutes to edit my comments and the subsequent discussion into a small file, and upload it into my eportfolio and blog. You can listen to this by clicking on the button below:

Podcast play button

This gave me a thought:

Learning to speak in seminars is a key objective of research based learning. When a student achieves success in this skill, that success should be recorded. This offers an opportunity to reflect upon the success, considering the contributing factors. Keeping such a recording may also offer supporting evidence to assessment. Finally, it could also provide a useful resource to present in an e-portfolio, for example, to prospective employers.

Perhaps in the near future, as e–portfolios become more common within higher education, amongst the various snapshots of a student's academic work, we will see podcasts of seminars.