20 February 2013

Brainshark for Better Online Presentations

When Plato described the cave of perceived reality, was he just foreseeing the sad state of many 21st century classrooms?
Although all of my videos are small software tutorials, occasionally I have a traditional lesson for students to learn things other than software. One option is to simply record myself presenting a PowerPoint and post the video online, but the bandwidth and the boredom held me back. What I wanted was an easy way to share a bunch of slides with the ability to narrate over them.

An article brought to me via Zite mentioned a college running on blended mode with extensive use of a service called Brainshark. It basically allows you to create animated slide shows with audio. This is especially good for a few reasons:

  • straight-up online video is a bandwidth hog
  • creating self-running, narrated presentations in PowerPoint is a giant pain, not to mention the issue of sharing it online
  • viewers can jump to specific slides to review certain parts of the presentation
  • done well, animated slide shows can be very engaging
  • it's free for individuals! (under myBrainshark)
Apparently you can even combine these slides with video, and professors would add video of themselves at the beginning and end in order to remind the students that there's an actual person there.


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