Thursday, November 01, 2007

Commentary: Sotir: Syncing Technology Effectively

An instructor stopped into my office this morning to borrow a digicamcorder, and said she was having some problems with the video output of the CDs that she burns for her students. Students record their speeches using a digicamcorder, and then she reviews them and adds comments. While she has a clean recording (using Windows Movie Maker) at home, there are clicks and pauses when it is played back on other computers. I suggested that she look to the Web as a better tool and upload the videos to a site such as Teacher Tube ( There is a new video on Teacher Tube discussing just that subject:

TeacherTube Tips: Creating and Uploading Reliably! (

Here is the Teacher Tube intro:
Having trouble uploading to TeacherTube? I do. But I found a couple of things that make both creating and uploading far more dependable.
- Using Windows MovieMaker, choosing the right settings to save your movie will make it much more likely to upload smoothly to TeacherTube.
- Long uploads tend to timeout on TeacherTube. But logging in in another tab of the browser keeps you logged in to finish your upload!

For her purposes, I suggested she create a class Blog to allow students to easily view the finished portfolios as a group.

Another option, if video is not always necessary, is to use a simple podcasting site like Gabcast ( This will give the students an opportunity to listen to and review their pronunciation and only requires a telephone and a computer. It's quick, easy and effective.

The advantage of both of these methods is that students would have access to the speeches on the Web, instead of via a CD or DVD. It's great that instructors are moving more into 2.0 but the key is syncing all of the technologies used effectively. There are new Web tools being developed daily, and if older technologies are proving problematic, it pays to search for more effective solutions. I'll keep adding the to list this on the 'Tech Tools Recommended' listing in the right hand column of this Blog.