Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

YouTube Center, a power user extension for your video usage in class

  1. YouTubeCenter comes for a variety of browsers, but note that Firefox seems the only practically supportable browser in our campus computing environment.
  2. To download and install, go to : and click on:image
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  6. There is not shortage of settings (e.g. preselected is the Dash Playback, useful to speed up jumping around a video, by disabling streaming):  image
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A comparison of options for student oral photo presentation assignment

  1. Objective: Student presents personal photos in target language (e.g. home). b
  2. Contenders for Tools:
    1. Voicethread (free version)
    2. University-environment
      1. For Multimedia authoring:
        1. MS-PowerPoint
        2. not yet contenders
          1. MS-Community Clips (screen capture recording, to be installed)
            1. benefit: single purpose, record yourself talking while flipping through the images on your computer
            2. cost: new tool to learn, and no long term perspective
          2. Sanako Student Recorder: not a contender, it has subtitling options, but cannot author multimedia presentations (teachers used to with the Sanako authoring tool, but this is not longer supported).
      2. As LMS: Moodle.
  3. Comparison:
    1. Student
      1. Authoring:
        1. (PowerPoint ties:) Image upload is easy in Voicethread (including batches): image, but PowerPoints Insert / Photo album is as fast (if you have digital photos).
        2. Image narration:
      2. Assignment submission: Voicethread (free) has no support for assignments, only for sharing. Students have to find a way to submit their Voicethread,

        1. either by email or invitation to pre-created contacts: image
        2. or, – with higher initial setup cost, but greater reusability benefit – by invitation to a pre-created contact: image, imageimage
      3. Sharing/peer-editing/grading:
        1. (Moodle would win where it has peer-grading options. YMMV:) Sharing within the class is possible, but sharing with "anyone" is a privacy (possibly FERPA) issue, and sharing with a handmade class list  (no import) is tedious.
    2. Teacher: grading
      1. Managing submissions
        1. (LMS wins?:) Voicethread (free) does not allow an export that could be uploaded to the LMS. imageStudent can email links or invitations like these:  image. It is up to you managing them, and completion of assignment and grading for the class. This is no LMS gradebook.
        2. (Voicethread wins:) PowerPoint can be saved as a slideshow that starts on click (save as .ppsx) (including with narration). But opening and listening, without the need for saving to a local file,  remains easier in Voicethread.
      2. (Voicethread wins:) Providing feedback is possible,image including oral image– but is this insert recording? And providing editing access is not the default: image
      3. Record-keeping:
        1. (Moodle wins:) Voicethread: Uh.. oh..?! I see no retention story, especially not in the free version. With Moodle, you can leave all that to the institutional support.
    3. Student: receiving feedback
      1. (A tie:) Voicethread’s audio feedback versus Moodle/PowerPoints gradebook access.
    4. Learning curve:
    5. Voicethread has the advantage of being a specialized tool (relatively few options, still relatively simple interface – few distractions).
    6. Other tools have the advantage of greater familiarity in the long run and reusability. Of course it depends also where you are working: stable positions get greater benefit from embarking on the institutional environment.
  4. Summary: PowerPoint/Moodle remains the solution for the pedagogical task at hand that the LRC currently supports. Fortunately

    1. a narration of a picture presentation using PowerPoint and
    2. its submission by the student and grading by the teacher on the basis of a  Moodle single file upload assignment are not too difficult.

How to easily merge MP3 files

  1. There are many ways, including many that are easier than doing it manually in Audacity.
  2. MergeMP3 is a free and easy one that worked here: mergemp3