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Quick and Dirty Video Production August 21, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I’ve become a big fan of the site, readitfor.me, which provides "the world’s most engaging book summaries" in video form. My friend (and incredible business/leadership consultant), John Spence, told me about this site and I’ve been glued to it ever since. Essentially, Steve Cunningham reads mainstream business books and then produces a short, entertaining video summarizing his take on the book. (Note: The image below links to a large version of one of the videos.)

Here Comes Everybody

You can see that this is a simple yet highly effective way to get a message across to your users / learners. Steve’s style reminds me of CommonCraft videos, which use pseudo-animation and paper cut-outs to communicate a message. Here’s an example:

Both styles use an informal, relaxed approach along with seemingly low-budget, low-quality video production. To be clear, I mean that in a good way. Essentially, these aren’t polished productions.

I wanted to show these examples and bring up the fact that video production is getting easier and the tools are getting cheaper every day. It’s now much more conceivable to create videos to help communicate concepts to our learners, rather than using typical eLearning consisting of bullet points, static text, and images. I also think it’s important to show these videos because they prove that visual perfection is not required; content is king, and you’ll be fine as long as the content is accurate (and entertaining). You can create videos like this using only a shoestring budget and a little imagination.

Here are some tools to consider for quick and dirty video projects:

  • Flip video camcorders are around $200 and I keep hearing that they do a wonderful job.
  • Jing is a screen-capture and screencasting tool that I’ve mentioned before. The basic version is free and I can’t say enough about how much I love Jing.
  • Captivate and Camtasia can help you assemble more complicated projects that include video, text, images, audio clips, etc. Once finished, you can export your project as a .swf (Flash file) and embed it on any web page.
  • Audacity can be used for editing audio. It’s free.
  • If you want to get fancy, there are a few YouTube-like systems you can set up at your organization to house video: PHPMotion (open source) and ClipShare are two examples.

What tips / tools have I left off? Have you attempted anything similar at your organization? If so, I’d love to hear about it…

YouTube EDU March 28, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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YouTube EDU launched this past week containing online lectures from more than 100 colleges and universities. The site lets you browse hundreds of videos by school or you can search by subject. The variety of content is amazing – everything from Advanced Finite Elements Analysis to How to Make Spring Cupcakes.

An internal site like this could be fantastic for capturing tribal knowledge in a corporate environment. Does YouTube have a version that companies can license? Are there similar video-sharing sites/applications that can be deployed in-house? Please chime in if you have experience with this, and I’ll do some research on my own.

(FYI – Many of the educational videos link over to the regular YouTube.com site, so it may be confusing for some users when the EDU branding and interface disappears when clicking back and forth between the sites.)

Free eBook: Learning 2.0 for Associations February 7, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Michele Martin over at The Bamboo Project Blog recently posted about a free eBook titled Learning 2.0 for Associations (PDF). The eBook was written by Jeff Cobb over at the Mission to Learn blog.

Michele puts it best, so I’ll let her tell you about it:

In a little over 100 pages, Jeff does a fabulous job of describing the tools of Web 2.0 and how they can be used for various learning activities. He also has some nice concrete examples and a long list of resources at the end. Definitely something to check out and add to your reading list.

And Jeff’s summary of the eBook starts like this:

This report considers how approaches to learning have evolved and what impact the new technologies dubbed “Web 2.0” are having. In it you will find examples of ways in which associations are using these new technologies and what possibilities they may represent for your organization’s professional development and other learning initiatives.

I’m always anxious to hear more people discuss (e)Learning 2.0, but I really like how Jeff goes into detail about how people interact, collaborate, and learn together. It also looks like this eBook is a great intro for people who are relatively new to the learning 2.0 world; Jeff’s writing is very clear and easy to understand. He also uses simple, but effective, graphics to illustrate his points. Great stuff!

eLearning Videos December 11, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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UPDATE: The videos section is now integrated with the main eLearningPulse.com feed, so videos will show up on the home page instead of using a separate page.

eLearningPulse has a new Videos section featuring eLearning videos from throughout the web. Take a look, and let us know if you can recommend any other videos to add. Feedback is appreciated, too! We plan on adding more videos as they pop-up, so check back often…