Having run my first two half marathons this year, I thought IU had a good sense for that finish line feeling, but those pale compares to today’s 5 hour sprint through Day One of the NMC Online Conference in Personal Broadcasting. Between facilitating sessions, doing intros, funneling feedback, nudging people to comment, and also doing my own presentation… all I can say is “whew”. But it was a fantastic first day, and I got to hear form some great colleagues who are pushing envelopes left and right.
So the sessions are recorded, but they are in LearningTimes, and you had to register to see the archives. “Membership has it privileges” ? (ducking here).
On quick run down, we started with “Hearing the Image” where Beth Harris and Steven Zucker form the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY) shared the way the use podcasts, and Camtasia recorded screencasts, to have “conversations” about art “not simply ‘course-casts'”. Listening to a podcast tour of New York Architecture, students take their own digital photos, post them to flickr, and use annotation tools to discuss them (check out an example). Check out smARThistory for Beth and Steven’s blog hosted site that has their Camtasia annotated discussions of art. We had great online dialogue about the issue of the context of art and the textual information around it, and more. A great session with almost 90 attendees.
Following this was the keynote with Phillip Long from MIT, who in “Voices in Isolation or a Distributed Conversation” asked some deep questions about podcasting- noting the large numbers of downloads of specific mp3s, but that there seemed to be less wholesale subscription to content, and suggesting we are just barely scratching the surface of understanding about how people are and will use tis audio technology. Most important issue of all is time- for faculty, not having a lot of time to devote to mastering yet another technology, and for students, the value of being able to time shift content. There was discussion of the difficulty of search and retrieval of content in audio/video source.
Phil described and showed screenshots of a new technology form MIT that will go public next month (and be made available) for addressing the search issues. One end of it was a service that takes a submitted media file, and returns via email, an auto generated text transcript. This is nice, but having the text opens up the bottle for indexing the content for search and retrieval. That is where the new “Lecture Browser” will come into play- entering keywords in a search field, the results display all media that have the keywords, a graphical representation of where in the segment the words occur, and a text display of the content around the results, so you get the context. Clicking the results pulls up the specific segment in a RealPlayer embedded player, and as it plays, a subtle underline feature marches through the transcript chunk, synchronized with the video.
I guess Phil and I were both doing our last minute prep yesterday evening, because he contacted me me by chat and gave a sneak preview of this software, which words as advertised.
Next was our panel discussion on “Technical and Pedagogical Implications” – my notes will be skimpy since I took the time to gobble lunch and get me stuff prepped for my own session. It was cool to hear Joe Tojek talk about his set up for playing live music through a streaming PC that he uses to do his live performances as Johnyy99 Gumshoe in Second Life.
Then it was my turn to present “Podcasting on the Cheap” -I will toot my own horn in the next post, but it was a fun session.
Closing the day was “Podcasting as Publication- Constructing a Serialized Academic Audiobook” with Richard Edwards and Shannon Clute from Saint Mary’s College of California. They got the idea to use podcasts to create discussion and critical reviews of movies as part of a Film Noir class- you just check out their site, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir. They have a wonderful approach for presenting this and making a case for this new form of media to be considered as “scholarly work.” They are doing something right, since they were recently named a featured “TV and Film” podcast at the iTunes Music Store.
What a great conference so far.