Meaningful Meanderings

Chris Mark's Blogfolio

Showbeyond and Beyond… November 26, 2010

Showbeyond is a multimedia slidecast creator and a way of sharing stories with others.  ShowBeyond was started by two friends who wanted to provide a way for people to create and share stories.  With Showbeyond, it is easy to grab images, and then add sound and text to create multimedia stories. Then you can share your stories with friends or post to blogs and social networking sites. 

The program was very easy to use.  First a user has to create an account.  Once an account has been created the user can upload up to twenty four images to use to create a slidecast.  Text can be added to the images to tell the story and then a soundtrack can be added.  For my Showbeyond I used pictures I took in January, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to work at Tulane University. While in New Orleans I had the opportunity to tour the many neighborhoods which were devastated by Katrina.  I will never forget how it felt standing there.  It was actually quite surreal.   ShowBeyond was such a great way for me to showcase these photos and tell my story about coming to New Orleans after Katrina.  I added a soundtrack to my Showbeyond, which was Aaron Neville signing Louisiana 1927, an awesome song that goes along with the photos so well.  Click below to view my Showbeyond, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, January 2006:

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Showbeyond can also be used to do podcasting with slides, use of photos from online photo sharing sites, change the duration of each slide, and share stories either publicly or privately.  This is a great, flexible software package that is very easy to learn and use.  The implications for learning and teaching are immense.  There are many examples of how teachers, especially in the lower grades are using this as a way for students to write stories or give information about places, historical events, etc.  I think it would fun for the students to see their work online and be able to invite their family and friends to view it as well.  The only drawback I could see is that each Showbeyond is limited to twenty four images.  For longer presentations you could use more than one Showbeyond and have part 1, part 2, etc.  I can see using it for teaching in the same manner I would use a PowerPoint.  This would especially be a good tool for an online class.

 

I Have a Video on YouTube!!! July 21, 2010

 

  

I learned a lot about screencasting as a Web 2.0 tool including how it could be used for education.  This assignment required that a tutorial be constructed using ScreenToaster, a Web 2.0 tool for creating a screencast and then be uploaded onto YouTube where it could be viewed and shared.  I always wanted to learn how to use Camtasia, a software screencasting program that is quite expensive.  Camtasia was the package used by educators before all the free Web 2.0 applications became available.   In looking at the resource material provided I was surprised at how many free Web 2.0 tools are available for screencasting.  I had used Jing in a previous class and found it to be very easy to use; however, there is a five minute limit on the free version.  Other than that I did not experience with others tools.  The assignment was supposed to use ScreenToaster.  The day I went to do my project, ScreenToaster was down.  It was later discovered that they were converting it to paid product and would no longer be free.  This is the downside of using free Web 2.0 tools in addition to there usually being some restrictions on the free version of the tool.  I decided to complete the project using ScreenCastle.  There really was not much to learn about this tool as it so easy.  I did my screencast on setting up a network using Ning.  I simply pressed a button and starting talking and moved from screen to screen.  The next part was to upload the screencast to YouTube.  I already had a YouTube account so it just a matter of uploading the video.  YouTube takes care of file conversion and everything else.  All in all the process was very easy.  Here is my video:

There are many educational uses for this tool.  It allows teachers and instructors to create tutorials for students.  For example, I used to teach Microsoft Office and definitely could have used it to demonstrate various Excel, Word and Access features for my students.  Most students have the same issues with aspects like formulas so it makes sense to produce a video and have students watch it.  The video can also be placed on a Website, blog or Wiki for students to access.  I think this is a great tool that is so easy for any teacher or instructor to use and sharing on YouTube is a piece of cake!!!