Sue Waters Blog

September 23, 2007
by Sue Waters
4 Comments

Sunday Job! Road Test Some More Online Video Creators!

Computer does not understandIT’S Sunday–apparently another day of rest I thought! But No! And to make matters worse I felt that my computer had taken the day off!

CogDog (Alan Levine) was nice enough to reply to yesterday’s road test of online video creators post that “There is a blurry line between the video editing tools and the ones that allow audio narrated slideshows, which are, to me, actually a bit easier to create (no video camera needed) and to edit. I just played with myPlick which was about the easiest of ones I have tried for doing the synchronizing of sound to visual.

So early this morning I went and checked out CogDog’s MyPlick Domino story. Definitely MyPlick fitted my original criteria for an online video creator in that it must make make the creation quicker or easier than using software on a PC or Mac.

MyPlick is similar to SlideCast in that it syncs audio with slides. While many people have been engaged by SlideCast, I haven’t, because you can’t host your audio at SlideShare and you have to host it on another site. I am looking for a faster way of creating my online videos – and putting Slides onto one site and audio onto another does not make sense. MyPlick lets you host both your audio and your slides at MyPlick!

Unfortunately, unlike CogDog, I had issues with uploading both my audio and slides to MyPlick. But never fear, MyPlick has fantastic support – prompt response by Lei Jin who uploaded my PowerPoint and audio to my account for me.

Being a Sunday I assumed that I would not hear from MyPlick until at least tomorrow so I decided, since obviously I had nothing better to do, I would create a SlideCast.

Sorry SlideShare — this is where you have made it hard. Would be helpful if you gave some advice on free hosting sites that work in your help notes. Tried hosting from my Podomatic account (which I knew would not work!). Then tried Odeo — must have been tired because I could not even work out how to upload the audio at Odeo! Finally went to my Internet Archive account that I knew would work but is not the most user friendly site. My first link from Internet Archive chipmunked — luckily the second worked fine. Here is the SlideCast I created and here are my notes on how to link your audio to a SlideCast!

While I was creating my SlideCast Lei uploaded the audio and PowerPoint. So after finishing my SlideCast I went to my MyPlick account and quickly synced my audio with my PowerPoint.

CogDog is definitely correct — MyPlick is definitely one of the fast and easiest way of synchronizing of sound to visual (much faster than creating a video podcast using MovieMaker from PowerPoints saved as .jpeg or using SlideCast).

Here is the MyPlick I created!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://embed.myplick.com/player-thin.swf?plickName=7lBHXSzQe4s" width="400" height="343" wmode="transparent" /]

Lei Jin also gets the award for providing dedicated customer service because Edublogs can be picky about what embed code you use (please note it is not Edublogs but WordPress restrictions that is the issue). So poor Lei had to create the URL that would work for the Embed flash.

Slidecast of the day

FINAL THOUGHT

Some interesting statistics. Before I created my SlideCast or MyPlick of Tips for podcasting I also create a video podcast of it which I put onto my podcast site.

The SlideCast has been made SlideCast of the day and has had far more views than my video podcast on my podcast site.

So maybe I was wrong about not originally including SlideCast as an online video creator.

And maybe CogDog is right? Anyone remember podcasting?

September 22, 2007
by Sue Waters
10 Comments

Job for Saturday! Road test of online video creators!

It’s SATURDAY! I believe it’s meant to be a day of rest but I was challenged by readers comments on my post about Animoto, an online video creator.

CogDog (Alan Levine) said “But beware the slippery slope of getting wrapped in the tools- what seems more important is the craft of writing/storyboarding a story; and learning what works in visual/audio/video expressive media”

Chris Betcher said “But educationally I think it’s important that kids think about how they present this sort of visual information, that’s why we spend time storyboarding and planning and so on. Animoto removes their creative input.”

My thoughts are the difference between CogDog, Chris and myself relate to the fact both CogDog and Chris are interested in the digital story telling aspect whereas my focus is on video creation and the content. The concept of creating digital stories has never engaged me but the power of being able to create a video that suits my training purpose does.

While we might use the same or similar tools to create digital stories and online videos — differences in what we are trying to achieve means we will favour some appropriates over others.

Now CogDog really knows his digital story telling and has been working really with 50 tools to create 50 domino stories for his CogDogRoo tour of Australia. Actually I am beginning to think that CogDog is even crazier than me — but what fantastic work you have done on these stories.

And on a side issue CogDog has been elevated to Honorary Top Dog of Western Australia as a result of his picture of Australia covering up all other Australian States and Territories so that only Western Australia is displayed!

westernaustralia1.jpg

So what I decided to do was check through CogDog’s 50 domino stories to see which of the tools were good for creating online videos. I know how long it takes to create videos using PhotoStory, MovieMaker and iMovie as I use them all the time and if I am going to use an online video creator it must make the creation quicker or easier.

I often teach lecturers how to create videos using video footage from their digital camera. But different digital camera record video footage in various video formats and not all formats can be imported into MovieMaker. Which means that you need to convert to a compatible format before you can edit using MovieMaker.

Fortunately based on my criteria of quicker or easier to create online video there was only 3 tools that fit:

My rules allowed me to use either images and/or video footage provided video footage was shot on a digital camera (if I shoot video using my digital video camera I would have had to capture using MovieMaker and no iSight on my Mac because that uses iMovie). OH and no dogs allowed!!!!!

Please note each video I created is unique and shows you different aspects on my world!

Animoto

Extremely fast way to create a video using images only that looks really flashy but takes minimal effort. And yes you can add both text and your own audio to it! You just need to think outside the box! Create a PowerPoint with the text you want to use and then save as jpeg instead of PowerPoint (thanks Brian C. Smith for telling me how your wife did it!).

Record audio in Audacity but when you save it make sure you change the Project Rate (bottom left side of screen) to 22, 050 hz or the audio chipmunks when you upload. Not totally convinced that adding your own voice to this type of movie is a good idea – but I had to prove you can do it!

Negatives to this tool are you only get 30 seconds free video – if you want longer you have to pay! Also not sure that we won’t eventually get tired of this look. Here is my Animoto video with my spoken audio and text!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/46928cc51133af17/46f4ffc96b0a0343" width="432" height="250" wmode="transparent" /]

MotionBox

Fairly easy to create online videos by editing video footage online. I did crash FireFox 3 times while using MotionBox but do believe that it was all me being too impatient!

Benefit to your viewers is they can use the thumbnails or tags to jump forward to sections of the video they want to watch. Motionbox accepts videos a range of formats including: .avi, .mov, .dv, .mpg, .mp4, .wmv, .asf, .qt and a variety of cell phone video (.3GP).

Here is the video I created using MotionBox.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.motionbox.com/external/player/filings%3D35320911%2Cid%3Dec95d1b61313e461%2Cie7nocacheworkaround%3D1190451828828" width="425" height="460" wmode="transparent" /]

JumpCut

This tool is like having MovieMaker or iMovie online! Can add titles and effects. Very easy to use (says she who makes movies all the time).

Here is the video that I created using JumpCut!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.jumpcut.com/media/flash/jump.swf?id=A98972A068F011DCA9C8000423CF3686&asset_type=movie&asset_id=A98972A068F011DCA9C8000423CF3686&eb=1" width="408" height="324" wmode="transparent" /]

FINAL THOUGHTS

All three online video creators are good for different reasons. Key with both MotionBox and JumpCut is to be patient and do something else while the videos are uploading. Each has its own tricks that you have to work out — but nothing in comparison to some of the skills I have had to learn with desktop applications.

Let me know what your thoughts are? Which of the 3 video looks do you prefer? Have you tried any of these applications and what did you like/dislike about them?

September 19, 2007
by Sue Waters
7 Comments

Time For Bed? Or Create Quick Video?

Well all I can say is it is John Pearce’s fault!!!!

Was going to bed 1 hr ago as I have been really tired this week but made the mistake of stopping to read his post on Tipping And Other Significant Points. Next thing I was following the post to Chris’s Betchablog (had a little chuckle at Graham comment on his stats) and started reading Chris posts!

Bugger! AMINOTO! Had read a few posts on it but been ignoring! Now thanks to Chris I had to test it! I HAD WANTED TO GO TO BED!

In simple terms Aminoto is an online video creator which allows you to create videos quickly in 3 steps:

  1. Add photos (can upload photos or use online photos)
  2. Select music (can use their large selection of music or upload your own)
  3. Finalizes by combining video effects and transitions with your photos and musics completely online to create your movie

Simple, easy to use and you look like a genius. Chris does suggest that Aminoto probably doesn’t have a huge deal of educational merit — mmmm not sure watch my video and make up your own mind.

If you are interested in discussing online video in e-learning come and join us at etools and tips for educators community! Also if you have time to tell me about your use of Web 2.0 students please post a comment on this post!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/46928cc51133af17/46f12d637911611" width="432" height="250" wmode="transparent" /]

July 11, 2007
by Sue Waters
11 Comments

Which tool to use?

Ok..I need your help! Collective intelligence required for solution.

Problem:305406235_b7ee0c8b80_m

Running workshop on how to podcast and in part of the workshop they want me to teach the lecturers how to convert their PowerPoint into a movie (with their voices narrating the PowerPoint presentation).

Yes, I know should be an easy decision for me as I am into video podcasting :). Always the case the more you know the harder the decision.

[Image from misterjt]

What I can’t use

Must use technology that lecturers will have access to once they get back to their Colleges. This means:

  • Can’t use Mac technology – apparently they are an endangered species in TAFEWA
  • Can’t use software that costs money – in a TAFE organization purchasing software takes time (depending on the software can be months..)

Type of software I am after

  • screencasting software (i.e. software that records whole or part of a computer screen) because it is a valuable skills for lecturers to learn (e.g. create videos on “how to do” tasks for software applications; I also use to explain what I am looking for when editing student work)
  • software must create a movie in a format that be converted easily to .mp4 format as they will be uploading the movie as a podcast (to a podomatic account)
  • easy to use

Several people have suggested Photostory (save PowerPoint as jpegs, import images into Photostory and then narrate). Doesn’t quite fit desire to teach screencasting.

Options I have considered

Camtasia Studio 4.0

Camtasia is definitely a great piece of software. Can use it to create screencasts or movies from photos/videos from digital cameras. Can create movies in a wide range of formats.

Unfortunately does not fit into the free category. If I knew that all participants had access to this in their workplace then this would be my choice. It would mean I could also use this for creating movies from photos/videos rather than MovieMaker, and not have to teach MovieMaker. Camtasia is not the most intuitive program to use (would do their heads in going between Camtasia and MovieMaker).

Windows Media Encoder

Encoder is free to download if you run Windows operating system. This is the program that I normally use. It is okay. Creates movies in .wmv format. Being a bit temperamental tonight and crashing Media Player mmmmm is it Media Player or Encoder that is not happy?

Microsoft Producer

I believe this is only designed to screen capture with PowerPoint so that is not a good option. Important for them to be able use software with a range of programs.

CamStudio

It is free. Really easy to use. Creates movies in .avi format.

What haven’t I considered? Which would you use and why?

Probably need to also nag some people to help ….. Philip, Darrel, Gabriela, Hans …anyone?