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Thursday, May 26, 2005

screencasting and podcasting lectures in CoAS

There have been a few changes since my last post about what is available for screencasting and podcasting lectures at Drexel in the College of Arts and Sciences.
I'll use this post to update small changes going forward.

Here is what we have available:

1) We have a few tablet PC's that can be signed out for lecture and seminar recording. They have Camtasia installed to do the screen capture. You can use SMART notebook or Powerpoint for writing freehand. As long as you stay reasonably close to the tablet, the built-in microphone is generally good enough for the audio.
2) If you don't need to draw or write freehand you can install Camtasia on your laptop and ask me for a license, which you will need after the 30 day free trial.
3) Start Camtasia Studio. Click on record. Give your lecture. Click on Stop. Camtasia will ask for a filename that it will save as an avi.
4) You normally shouldn't need to edit the recording but if you do, you can use Camtasia's editing functions and I have a screencast on that here.
5) At this point you need to make the file available to students. This can be done by:
a) Converting the avi to Flash using Camtasia. Use 800x600 resolution and no more than 5 frames/sec. This will generate 4 files that all must be uploaded to a server. Ask me for an account if you don't have access to a server. It takes about 20 minutes to convert an hour long lecture.
If you want to do a podcast, you need to convert the avi to an mp3. This can be done using Konvertor. Use 8000Hz, 16kb/s and mono. Let me know if you need a license. You can upload the mp3 and any other relevant files (pdf, ppt, etc.) onto the server.
If you wish to keep access to your recordings private to the class, creating links in WebCT is probably the way to go. If you want to make your class public, using a blog is convenient. A good place to create a free blog is Blogger. A screencast of this entire process (except the mp3 conversion) can be found here.


b) Copy your avi to a folder maintained by IRT. They have a script that will convert your avi to a Real Media file and host it on a streaming server. The video will lose some resolution, which can be a problem when recording text while web browsing but is generally fine for Powerpoint or free hand drawing. If you are off campus you must install VPN to access the folder. You avi will be deleted after 5 days so make sure to keep a copy.
I believe there is still a glitch in the conversion to mp3 but that should be fixed soon.
An RSS feed is provided to your students. The advantage is that you don't have to keep track of filenames or do the file conversion but you can't add text to the feed.


  • Jean,

    I stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed your posting. Since you are involed in e-Leaning, I'd love to introduce our new service, Palbee.com.

    It's a Flash based FREE video conferencing for 5 people & upto ONE hour. You can, of course, have unlimted number of sessions.

    Most of all, you can record the sessions and store then on your personal page ('My Page'). After recording, you can also embed them on your personal blogs, wikis or your unviersity pages.

    Hopefully, students and professors use it to share knowledge.


    By Blogger Albert Kim, at 6:07 AM  

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