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Podcast Fast with GCast June 28, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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1 comment so far

Yes, that’s probably the cheesiest title I’ve ever used, I know… But I recently found out about GCast, a free service that lets you record messages using your phone and then converts them to a podcast. Sure, this is kind of similar to Jott, but I like the simplicity of GCast. It does one thing, and it does it well.

Here’s how it works: Once you set up an account (again, it’s free), you can dial into a 1-888… number, enter your PIN, and record a voice message. After hanging up, your message is immediately available as a podcast online. People can subscribe to your feed and get updates whenever you record new messages. It’s quick and easy. Go here to hear an example. (WordPress won’t let me embed the Flash widget that plays the podcasts… Grrr.)

So, how might this apply to eLearning? GCast could be used in these ways…

  • Management could record soundbytes or motivational tidbits for employees.
  • Sales managers could record coaching tips for their sales staff that are out on the road.
  • Executives can use it to keep in touch with employees, make announcements, give weekly updates, etc.
  • You can capture those "A-ha!" moments while driving in the car.
  • You could produce a weekly podcast featuring tips and tricks for employees at your organization. You could interview senior-level workers and get them to share their wisdom with the rest of the organization.
  • …you tell me! I’d love to hear your ideas.

Here’s more info about GCast, straight from their site:

We offer many ways to add to your podcast channel:

  • Record messages by phone (never touch a computer!)
  • Upload MP3 files from your computer
  • Add “podsafe” songs from GarageBand.com (Note: Gcast is run by the same people that run GarageBand.com.)
  • Mix all the above with our online playlist manager

Whether you’re podcasting a 30-sec phone message or a 30-min radio show, you can publish it with Gcast for FREE. We’ll store your media and automatically generate the “RSS feed” that enables listeners to “tune in” to your podcast channel.

Give it a shot… It’s free and very easy!!


Using Audio in eLearning November 16, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , ,

Cathy Moore has a great blog post about using audio and narration in eLearning. It’s worth a read. I’ve discussed narration in eLearning before, but Cathy does a better job of breaking down the different ways audio and narration can (and should) be used. I admit that I fall into a rut in this area: Once I start building courses a certain way, I tend to stick to the same model for too long. Sure, I always try to get feedback from users, but I need to be better about investigating when and where to best use audio and narration.

Cathy also references an article on Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid eLearning Blog about the use of visuals and audio in eLearning. Tom offers up a great demo where he shows 4 possible combinations of text, audio, and images. I think it’s easy to tell which of the four is most effective. Take a look for yourself.

These articles are a great example of how the simplest things can greatly improve the learning experience. It’s easy to think that you need the latest and greatest development tools, but that’s not the case. Good design skills and a solid understanding of human-computer interaction can take you far…