Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sharing micro-lectures as talking videos, the rapid way

Micro lectures are a way of packaging knowledge on a specific and well-defined subject into small manageable pieces of information. When shared on the internet, micro lectures are typically shared as video.

Micro-lectures and micro-learning are getting more and more popular as we are becoming more and more aware of the limits of the attention span, particularly when speaking about lectures consumed as videos on a computer or portable device. Micro-lectures, by being short in nature and by focusing only on one well-defined topic or aspect of a topic, provide a way for learners to get exactly what they need, no more no less.

Micro-lectures, beside fitting the attention span, offer another advantage by focusing on one particular piece of information, allowing learners to choose what they need to learn and when to learn it. In other words, they offer what is often called just-in-time learning.

From a lecturer point of view, it is important that producing micro-lectures to be shared on the internet do not evolve into macro-project. Otherwise the equation becomes unsustainable. The work of compressing and structuring information on a subject so that it fits into few minutes is hard enough, there is no need to add additional complication in the technical realization of the project.

SlideTalk is a helpful resource in this sense, as it allows to build a talking video by just using slides or images and a script. The slides are converted into a video and the script into an automatic voiceover, and the resulting video is made available on YouTube, ready to be embedded and shared, or made available for download.

Here is how a typical authoring session with SlideTalk looks like, where you can see the slides and the script for the automatic voiceover being typed next to each picture:

SlideTalk example

And here are few examples of micro-lectures on different topics, created with SlideTalk:
Now it's your turn to start creating Micro-lectures, the rapid way!

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