What Advice Would You Give?

What Advice Would You Give?

Image of adviceYep, I know a lot about “a lot of stuff” but there lies my problem; as Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) says:

The more you know, the harder it is to take decisive action. Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities and shades of gray. You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears. Ultimately, knowledge is paralyzing

So I need help, advice, on what solutions/options you would recommend for the following scenario. Image by Petite Corneille.

I’ve been contacted by a lecturer who teaches horticulture. She says:

I’ve been recording botanical terms e.g. plant names and spelling to help ot students using a tape recorder. It seems to me it would be much more efficient to put this stuff onto the net so that they can download it to their mp3 players but I’m not quite sure where or how to do it. Any advice?

Here’s my thought process so far:

  1. Worthwhile considering offering both video and audio formats – to enhance the connection between the terms and the botanical images
  2. For audio I’d use a USB headset and Audacity. My choice for video would be MovieMaker or PhotoStory.
  3. Will the outcome desired change with time? i.e. focus currently is the benefit of recordings on mp3 but long term will this change to include: students being able to interact using a forum and post their own videos & photos; being able to provide other resources (documents, PDF); and/or write posts.
  4. Does the site need to be password protected or can it be open?

Can You Help Out?

  1. What other questions are worth asking?
  2. What solutions or options are worth considering?
  3. Do you know of any sites that horticulture lecturers are using with their students?
  4. What haven’t I thought of?

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5 thoughts on “What Advice Would You Give?

  1. First the feasable ideas, later some wild ones.

    There is a gadget out from Pinnacle studio http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Home+Video/Studio+Family/Instant+Video+Recorder.htm Which lets you record video immediately to any USB-device. The feedback on this is also positive.
    http://www.gadgetell.com/tech/comment/gadgetell-review-pinnacle-video-transfer/

    You could opt for a mobile solution which incorporates interactivity (http://www.mobileinteractiveguide.com/?gclid=CJSF7OiQ-JECFQ9CMAod_jZeog this is a possible Canadian solution, but there will be Australian ones to, I stumbled upon http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/search/category//state//audience//qt/Guided+walks so there should be a company nearby that might want to join up). This of course takes money, but… if your friend could go up to a botanical garden or society and offer her students as a pilot group to make a horticultural test, that might just work out great. That way three parties get benefits.

    Another thing to consider is the use of gps in your horticultural information. The easiest way to do it is to use google maps for instance to check were the students gathered their info. In a later stage people who are into horticultaral dispersement (sorry, probably not the right word: the way plants migrate) could use that data to start a (student) crowdsourcing project.

    Well, sorry if any of the ideas are to wild, but … I was in a wild mood I guess.

  2. Sue – I’m not quite as knowledgeable as you, but my thought would be to ask where she’s going to post the information. Does she have server access? Lots of the free podcast hosting sites have lots of ads. Possibly this is a “duh, of course she has her own hosted site” situation, but for me it’s always an issue and you didn’t mention this in the info. Not sure if she is using moodle, but moodle now has a podcast option. It’s not THE coolest tool out there, but it’s an option if she’s already using moodle for this course.

    Just my thoughts 🙂

  3. I would say she should post the content on YouTube. There just might be other people interested in it.

    Anything that produces videos is a good choice, but do try to get her to get a good microphone. I don’t know if a headset mic is the best choice, they are often meant for telephone level quality. The audio of a presentation can totally make or break it.

  4. Ignata – I love out there ideas since it makes you consider all options. I’ve got a video capture card in my old computer which allows me to take old VHS from my video recorder and digitize however the Pinnacle video transfer looks like a much easier option. There are so many really cool options like you point out that you can do with horticulture; guided talks etc.

    Kate – Unfortunately we don’t currently have server access. It’s a long story. I still think she needs to decide if a podcast is what she really wants. We mainly have access to WebCT CE6 – which she could use.

    I agree Isaac – that a video sharing website is the way to go but not sure of YouTube. I normally use Google Video. An issue I have with YouTube is I’ve seen other lecturers end up with nasty comments.

    Franck – thanks for telling me about teleseminars . I will definitely check them out.

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