Tag Archives: Echo360

Customise me

Don’t give it to me unless I can customise it

My first car was a 1993 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3i, in British Racing Green (obviously). I bought it second hand in ’97 from John Cooper Garages (JCG) in West Sussex, and the legendary John Cooper himself handed my the keys (and made my mum a cup of tea while I did the paperwork).

Like so many people who own a Mini it didn’t stay ‘standard’ for very long, as I read through the Mini magazines on the kinds of things I could do to personalise the car. I went to Mini events, like the London-to-Brighton Mini Run and the 40th anniversary party at Silverstone, and looked over the show cars and private cars that were parked up, as well as the stands and auto-jumble traders. I bought the whole set of JCG brushed aluminium door furniture (window winders, door pulls, etc.) and chrome accessories (bling!), as well as doing more mechanical upgrades like vented discs and four-pot calliper for both front and read brakes, and a full-length straight-through (manifold to rear ‘box) DTM-style exhaust system (ooh, that was awesome!).

This was the start of my love affair with tinkering and messing with anything that’s standard to make it personal for what and how I like it.  Continue reading

“Pedagogy, policy and support: taking lecture capture to the next level”

Lecture Capture: Pedagogy, policy and support #lborolc13

“Pedagogy, policy and support: taking lecture capture to the next level”

Date: July 3rd, 2013
Location: Loughborough University
Details: “Pedagogy, policy and support: taking lecture capture to the next level”
Twitter hashtag: #lborolc13

With discussions taking place around the College and University about the merits and technicalities of providing students with recorded materials, the timing couldn’t have been better for this workshop.

Hosted by Loughborough University with keynotes and sessions from leading users and supporters of lecture capture technology, the event was a good introduction to what experienced users are doing with he established technology, and how these enhancements are being vowed and used by students.

What do I want to get from today? I’ve used and been a supporter of lecture capture for many years now, and am enthusiastic for its introduction at Leicester. I want to build on my existing knowledge and understanding, how this has changed in the year or so since I moved to Leicester, and how established users of lecture capture technology are taking things forward and developing the techniques and pedagogy surrounding the technology.

We also need to be careful we do not ignore the ‘other’ questions that need asking: it’s not only about the students and pedagogic use of the technology, it’s also about how it’s implemented. We need to be sure to address the resources and resourcing, the implementation, the strategy surrounding its installation and use, the pedagogy, the support, etc. It is not about how we use it, it’s about how well we use it.

Read the full report on the College’s TEL blog: staffblogs.le.ac.uk/telsocsci/report/report-pedagogy-policy-and-support-taking-lecture-capture-to-the-next-level/

Student use of recorded lectures: a report reviewing recent research into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education, and its impact on teaching methods and attendance

Reading: “Student use of recorded lectures”

Student use of recorded lectures: a report reviewing recent research into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education, and its impact on teaching methods and attendance I am always on the lookout for resources and research that supports (or not – never let it be say that I’m not open minded) the use of an appropriate and considered implementation of lecture capture. So I was very pleased when I saw a tweet highlighting this research from London School of Economics (LSE):

Karnad, Arun (2013) Student use of recorded lectures: a report reviewing recent research into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education, and its impact on teaching methods and attendance. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. Available online: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50929/ [Accessed 28 June, 2013]

What I have taken from this is highlighted in the conclusion – it is as much about the signposting and implementation of the technology as the way the individual(s) use it. Whist some will use it as an excuse to skip lectures (isn’t that their choice?) others will use it as a resource as we intended it … for learning, reflection, growth, the ‘student experience’, etc.:  Continue reading


Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.3 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCWeek three and into ‘block 2’ of the five week Coursera / University of Edinburgh MOOC: ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’. Are we leaving the bliss of utopia behind, or will be building on the fear of a controlling and dystopian ‘master’ as we become ‘human’?

“What does it mean to be human within a digital culture, and what does that mean for education?”

This week is introduced from the perspective that “we tend not to question, in our everyday lives, where the boundaries of ‘the human’ lie”.  As with previous weeks we have a few videos to watch and criticise analyse as well as a few papers and web resources to read in order to define or answer what it means to be human in the future.

  • The advert from Toyota has had a lot of discussion in the Coursera forum but I have a more cynical approach to it – stop trying to intellectualise something that is pure marketing. Do you really think Toyota is trying to make some kind of moral message on the future of technology, or just trying to replicate other successful advertising or cinematic sequences? The end of the advert is very reminiscent of the end of The Truman Show, where Truman (aka Jim Carrey) has a choice to stay in the world he now knows is fake, yet safe, or leave to an unknown but world that allows freedom of choice and experience. Isn’t this also what education is becoming … isn’t this why we’re also doing this MOOC, for the freedom of choice?
  • The second advert, this time one of the adverts in the series from BT (UK) which is supposed to represent “authentic” human contact, taking a cheap shot at the Instant Messaging and Facebook generation in an effort to show how a simple phone call is the real thing. No, a conversation in person is the real thing, a phone call is the next best thing. If we take this scenario into the real world, into my day to day work, then I would rather walk along the corridor to someone’s office and talk to them properly than a phone call or email. In an online learning environment this is obviously not possible, and neither is a phone call (one tutor to ‘x’ number of students, that could be a lot of calls) – this is why Instant Messaging or discussion boards and/or conference calls (Skype?) are popular, and will remain so.

Continue reading

Research in Learning Technology

Reading: “Students and recorded lectures: survey on current use and demands for higher education”

Research in Learning TechnologyI’ve been interested for quite a while now in the use of recorded ‘lectures’ (for want of a better word) in learning materials for distance learners. Do these kinds of recording help students ‘learn’? This paper, from the Research in Learning Technology journal should be of interest to anyone who is also looking into lecture capture.

The research that accompanies this is paper based on student surveys in two Universities in the Netherlands whose goal was to investigate and understand how the students used the recorded material (downloadable versions of the recordings were not available for consumption offline).

There is good data here from the students that ought to be considered by anyone contemplating the introduction of any system that would enable recording of lecture materials and it’s provision and supply to students. If anything, look at the data about why students did not watch or use them (figures from one of the participating University’s: Eindhoven University of Technology – TU/e):

  • Did not know they were available: 7.2%
  • Went to class (didn’t need the recording): 57%
  • Technical difficulties: 6.3%
  • Didn’t miss anything important enough to consider reviewing the recording: 21.7%
  • Didn’t have time for it: 19.3%
  • Do not like watching recorded lectures: 5.1%
  • Recording quality (which meant they must have tried it to know they didn’t want to watch it?): 6.5%
The paper acknowledges that the majority of the technical issues encountered (which is always an important consideration) were due to students accessing the resources off-site (home, work etc.) which is a shame as, for distance learners, this is an essential consideration. Perhaps this is a limitation of the specific systems or their implementation at these institutions rather than the general technology of ‘lecture capture’?

I do not agree with one aspect of the study though, that the students were given full-length (40-45 minute) recordings. While this may be the “most frequent” type of recordings (and easiest to capture)  it is not the most effective or comfortable way to watch a lecture. I prefer smaller chunks, typically 10-15 minutes (according to the topic/subject structure), that are more easily digested either sat in front of a PC or on a mobile  device (MP3 or other audiobook format). This is how I produced recorded material for the distance learning students at Bournemouth University and, where we only had the longer, fuller, recording, we received negative comments that were solely down to length of recording. Perhaps if they had not had or known the advantages of the shorter versions they would not have responded this way?

The full reference for the paper is:

GORISSEN, P., VAN BRUGGEN, J., JOCHEMS, W.. Students and recorded lectures: survey on current use and demands for higher education. Research in Learning Technology, North America, 20, sep. 2012. Available at: http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/17299. Date accessed: 11 Nov. 2012.

Florizel Media: http://florizelmedia.comhttp://florizelmedia.com/

Reflection on a presentation: Social Media and Social Network #SoMe

Florizel Media: http://florizelmedia.comhttp://florizelmedia.com/Earlier this week I gave the following presentation to a groups of first year Accounting and Finance students:

and was kindly asked by Pauline Randall of Florizel Media to write up a reflective account of the presentation and what kind of impact it had on the students. You can read my full account on Pauline’s website:

I hope Pauline doesn’t mind but here is a snippet for you to read, but please read the full reflection using the link above.

“What I was not prepared for, when I thought about presenting this, was the students were completely unaware that their activity online could have any bearing on their employability. It was clear from the gasps and shocked faces when I introduced the examples of people losing their jobs because of their online activity that I had hit my mark; I was changing their perception of not only social media and social networks, but also of how they are going to use them.”

I also had the event recorded by the Bournemouth University installation of the Echo360 lecture capture system. Here it is;

Social Media and Social Network Presentation

Click to view recording of the “Social Media and Social Network” Presentation

It was only after I’d finished that I’d remembered I hadn’t said the “Farmville / I Quit” story turned out to be a hoax, but I’ll remember next time!

Links and YouTube videos played in the lecture are:

iTunesU; Do students like it?

The list of colleges and Universities signing up to iTunesU continues to grow. Since I last wrote about it – “Another Success Story (UCL)” – the likes of the OU (for those reading outside of the UK, this is The Open University) have a reported World Record as the first to reach 20 million downloads (source: Bee-It) since starting to use iTunesU in the Summer of 2008!

As reported in the Bee-It post, the OU says that;

“mobile phones are increasingly being used to download their tracks. Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, says that the growth of the iTunesU concept reflects the changing ways that people are learning.”

Martin Bean continues by saying;

“The way people want to learn is changing. Many now actively seek out content they are interested in and which they can watch, read or listen to when it suits them. New channels are helping people to fit learning in with their lifestyles, and the OU has always kept pace with the changing world of technology.”

ReadWriteWeb report that iTunesU is “better than going to class“, but Jim Groom doesn’t think it’s going to make any difference. Jim has some good points (especially the one about “everyone is doing it”) but surely a bigger picture is that it raises the profile of the Institution and (hopefully) the quality and perception of the materials provided to enrolled students?

Personally, I would love to be involved in generating and managing an iTunesU account for the Business School; we have lectures recorded using Echo360, which are automatically created with associated MP3 and M4B iTunes Audiobook format, as well as other material recorded straight to camera tape or memory.

This is the kind of material that reflects the quality of the teaching staff in the Business School. Regarding the question of whether students like it or not, how about student work being (with appropriate permission sought and obtained) loaded that reflects the quality of student in the Business School? I haven’t seen any of that in iTunesU yet (or did I miss it?).

So do students like it? It’s difficult for me to tell as we at Bournemouth are not using it. From reading around the Internet it seems that, on the whole, yes they are, just look at the numbers above. I would like to hear about whether your students (or you, if you’re a student) like or dislike iTunesU, but please say why?

So, it’s worked for the OU … have you had any similar interest or success with your use of iTunesU, or has your Institution opted to not invest the time and effort? Please leave your comments below, or anyone of the ‘related posts’ links also shown below.

Image Source

eLearning is dead, long live eLearning

Following up on a theme I’ve spoken to a few people about recently is the phrase “eLearning is dead, long live eLearning”.

I’ve long believed that what we have all thought of as eLearning (from the academic perspective, not commercial) has since become part and parcel of the way we teach face-to-face students;

  • We use wikis and blogs as part of the classroom activity, as well as for online students who never meet,
  • We use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, and the rest, to engage the students where they live (and include them in the lecture and seminars),
  • We use our presentations in the classroom that are loaded to SlideShare, and the students listen and make notes, then go and read the presentation again online later,
  • We are recording lectures and seminars, using tools like Echo360 and Camtasia, to keep a record of both the content but also to make it available for recap and revision purposes – this was originally used as the only way to deliver the materials to online students, and
  • We encourage the students to use email for contact with us (personal reasons) and Discussion Boards for support, subject-specific activities, FAQs, etc (again, online and face-to-face students use the same tools now).

These are all tools and activities that were once used solely to engage and encourage geographically disparate  students, but are now being increasingly used for campus-based students, often in a way that can reduce the amount of contact time (especially necessary with large cohorts, even more so when you don’t have the physical room space to accommodate all the students at once, there this reduced the need to repeat the lecture) but increase the quality of tutor-contact time the students have.

So, if eLearning is dead, why do I say long live eLearning? Simple really, all I’m referring to is what we used to think of eLearning is out of date, but we now have a whole new concept of what eLearning is and what we can use it for. It is used in lots of different situations to enhance the student learning experience, to enhance the amount of time a tutor can spend with groups of, or individual, students; this new approach is exciting, innovative, ground-breaking, technologically challenging, and really damn good fun – all you have to do is see what some of the brilliant minds are doing by following some key people on Twitter (there are many – drop me a line if you want some names).

I also found this presentation on SlideShare from Rani H Gill on ‘There’s already an E in eLearning’ which helps to explain where I’m coming from:

View more presentations from Rani H Gill.

I am happy to receive your thought on this idea; have we seen the concept of eLearning become mainstream so there is little to distinguish purely online eLearning techniques from what we do with campus-based and classroom-based students? Please leave comment below and join in the conversation.

mLearning; Tricks to using the iPod Touch in class

I’ve written previously on using mobile devices in class, and have made reference to quite a few excellent resources in my re-Tweets on Twitter. I thought I’d bring some of the best together in one post as I often find myself forgetting where I put them.

For those times when you want to display what is on the iPod screen, and you can never get a decent photo or it (room lighting, screen-glare, etc) why not just capture the screen content?

By holding down the ‘Home’ button (1) and clicking the On/Off button quickly (2) the screen will flash briefly, and your image is ready for viewing and downloading (stored in the ‘saved photos’ area).

iPod Touch Screen-grab

Here’s one I made earlier:

iPod Screen-grab

Save images while browsing
Easily save images while your browsing the Internet by touching the image and holding your finger on it for about 2 seconds, at which point a series of menu items will show asking you to save it (the image below also shows the other menu items that are shown if the image is also a link).

Nothing is better or easier than setting up your iPod to access emails. It depends on your network/broadband provider as to whether it will work (I cannot access personal email account on network at work) and I cannot send work emails when on network at home!!) but there are plenty of good detailed guides to read with a simple Google search. Here is one of the clearer guides I’ve used in the past –
How To Set Up Email On iPod Touch or iPhone

iPod Touch Image save

Apple App Store
Using Apps from the Apple App store is good, but be careful on what you recommend, and how much it is likely to cost.  There are many good examples of freely available apps, but they may not stay free for ever!


Search through the list of Apps loaded to the ‘Education’ section if you like, but often the best ones are flagged as games, or business, or use the search and enter a term and see what you find.

Internet & Surfing
One of the biggest advantages of the iPod (and other mobile devices) is the ability to hook up to a network (open or closed access, if you can) and allow you to surf. Students are able to follow you and the class while looking up resources

While the virtual keyboard is fun, it’s not the best for typing quickly on (especially if you’re fingers are anything but extremely small and thin). Yes, it can be done, but to do it effectively takes time and practice.

iPod Note-taking

Downloading podcasts from iTunes and/or iTunesU is excellent, providing some kindly soul has uploaded them in the first place. You don’t have to rely on iTunes either, you can download from the VLE, save to your PC and transfer across (our installation of Echo360 auto-generates an MP3 file from the video recording).

Share and download documents (assignment briefs, lecture slides, research material, etc) in and out of class.

Of course, this list is far from exhaustive. Please let me know how you have seen, or heard, or plan to use iPods in class.