Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ELearn 2005 - For the Masses

The interesting session for me this morning was out of the University of Hawaii (Eric Flower and Stacey Sawa). They created (in 2000) a light weight video conference/presence system based on RealProducer and RealPlayer for video streaming (unidirectional from the instructor) and communication back to the instructor is based on text chats that are used to ask questions from remote locations. This is cool for one major reason – it’s a simple solution and alternative to the large expensive site/studio based video conferencing. It is also cool that they have used the limitation of the interactivity to their advantage. When a student has a question that is sent in over chat, another student reads it out to the instructor and this helps to involve everyone in the class – an ingenious work around I would think. The remote students are also shown their fellow students as the camera pans around the room. These sessions are then archived and can be used by the students and teachers/instructors at a later date. This fits in rather nicely with the session that I went to this afternoon – Sam Geonetta’s Easy-to-use Low Cost or Free Tools for Developing Audio Video Materials for Electronic Learning session in the afternoon. He pointed out some free and easy Windows based apps for audio, video and photo manipulation. His criteria for choosing them included cost obviously and good documentation. Though not related, from what I remember, RealProducer would have fit that bill in 2000 (I remember looking at that and QTBroadcaster while working on my Masters project) It’s certainly nice to see solutions out there for the “masses” who may not have the resources to produce grand projects, but the courage and willingness to try for projects that work. Technorati Tags: , ,