CATS2008 session: Flash video captioning

one possible workflow:
1. ExpressScribe (free mac/pc) to help create transcription – need audio file version of video
2. Captionate software to create synchronization file (DXFP format XML)
3. Flash 8 to integrate FLV, SWF, XML for progressive download video with captions on 2-line lower third – this uses some ActionScript cut/pasting. Joel Bennett will provide the script with his presentation.

The real advantage here is that Captionate is able to directly import and play the FLV asset during caption sync, where other programs require using an alternate or intermediate format like AVI or MPEG.

A Flash CS3-based process using Magpie caption synchronizer software is another alternative with more flexible caption location (outside video frame) and the software solution can be cheaper if you already have Flash CS3 (which we do) – refer to CATS knowledge base for more information on these practices.

Further excellent resource on Flash Video captions:

CATS2008 session: Concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) for faculty technology adoption

Presented by Jim Julius, Cal State somewhere-down-south San Diego State University.

Concerns-based adoption model references Michael Fullan’s change map- you need the following to achieve complex change (like adoption of technology on campus): vision, skills, incentives, resources, action plan. Absent any one of these, you will have problems! The least severe is the lack if incentive – this results in gradual change. I see our rollout of the Vista LMS of this; faculty had no incentive to move, not even the prospect of free instructional design services (Northern Arizona model).

Components of CBAM:
stages of concern
These range from lower (self-focused) to higher (impact). Stages can be assessed through 35-Q survey.

  • 0: awareness
  • 1: informational
  • 2: personal
  • 3: mgmt
  • 4: consequence
  • 5: collaboration
  • 6: refocusing

Lower stages (0,1,2): needing more information, to see it personally.
Middle stages (3): mechanics (how to)
Impact stages (4,5,6): how is this helping, how can I make this better?

Level of use tool : this is an interview metric performed by trained interviewers – data found to be less useful than levels of concern except for research.

Innovation configurations involves developing a local, specific rubric to measure implementation and make a “map”. This helped Jim Julius’ group to determine action to take based in results: more constant communication, continued development.

CATS2008 session: Captivate v. Camtasia smackdown!

Patrick Crispin has created an evaluation rubric to pit these two worthy competitors against each other, specifically Adobe Captivate 3 vs. Techsmith Camtasia 5 (newer than what we’re using in TLP). His matrix weights ease of editing very highly (appropriately, I think) but gives nearly equal weight to ease of recording and captioning.

In his live demo of Captivate, I’m seeing some very nice features – simulation mode, snap application window size to a recording window (instead of having to to it the other way around). There’s a MS Vista bug that’s very annoying. Doesn’t record mouse movement, records a path and simulates the motion on playback: excellent compression – this really isn’t a movie recording. Wow – easy to time-compress segments in editing, alter mouse paths, and more with Adobe’s very sleek multi-track interface; of course, they make Premier!
Camtasia 5 also has some improvements in the recording interface with app window resizing. Camtasia is creating a true movie, of course, and scores much higher for Patrick on the recording, even though you can’t create interactive simulation.
On the production side, camtasia now has presets for iPod video and blog posts, where the cool pan-and-zoom functionality is very preferred to shrinking the end product.
They score pretty much equally on editing. As for output, Captivate cretaes an attractive flash product (4 files), as you might expect. Camtasia, however, has the very flexible output module we know and love, with the ability to link an mp3 and iPod file as bonus downloads with your video version! We should really take advantage of this more often.
Camtasia has a much better captioning system, and despite some keyboard access issues with their flash interface, they are a pretty clear winner in this competition.

From the CATS town hall meeting

Polling question: What technology-related tools/trends are currently “hot” on your campus?
Answers: 30% web 2.0 (blogs, wiki, social networks), 27% clickers, 10% grassroots video, 10% podcasting. We voted 3 times to assess the top 3 per campus but I think the first result is the most interesting.
Question: What technology would you like to see on your campus? Big spike (30%) for podcasting! Clearly there’s a lot of interest in capturing and sharing media to extend learning opportunities.
30% of the audience would like to receive training in emerging technologies – for me, I feel very lucky to be able to do a lot of self-directed exploration of these technologies, which means I should be one of the people training that 30%!

At the end of the session, the exec council asked for feedback about the town hall. Reflecting on the fact that less than half the conference attendees showed up, and the fact that I practically missed breakfast to make the 8am meeting, I suggested to my favorite council member that having the town hall be the conference breakfast for day 2 would be a good idea – food is one of the most primal motivators of even the most evolved humanoids.

CATS2008 session: Blackboard Communities

Just as we’re supporting a vibrant and expanding set of campus communities in Vista (for faculty dept’s, staff, and interdisciplinary groups), so is Cal State Fullerton – and they’re twice as large a campus as Chico in terms of FTEs.

One difference is that Fullerton is using the Blackboard Community System, which will soon be available to our campus through the Blackboard Learning Connector layer in Vista 8.

I’m hearing common themes – content sharing among instructors of large multi-section courses, department collaboration. A very interesting comment from presenter Shariq Ahmed: “Not having a wiki available on our campus, we have added every person into this community as a designer so they all can add, delete, and modify content.” – For me, that solution is at best inadequate, because there’s no opportunity for true collaborative writing or for edit histories (versioning). Is the killer app not a Vista LMS (or community system) shell with an integrated wiki space? Such a solution could be managed by its leaders through a web-based application which simultaneously manages the associated wiki group/space permissions and membership.

One comment though- Blackboard’s community feature is pretty ugly. Not having spent any time with their original (non-webCT-acquired) products, I’m rather shocked at the Spartan interface. However, the self-enrollment feature is about 300x more simplified and obvious than in the Vista LMS.

CATS2008 Session: Contributing to the CATS Knowledge Base

Kevin Kelly from SFSU is guiding us in the use of the CATS Knowledge Base, a new wiki hosted by the Center for Distributed Learning where the collected wisdom of CATS and the CATS email lists can be collected. I’d contributed an early article to the ‘base about JAWS accessibility of our LMS for students, and since then only a few articles have been started. Today we’re brainstorming new articles and starting stubs – hands-on, in a computer lab.

It’s a much simpler system than our enterprise wiki, but that’s to our advantage here as the hope busy technologists from across the spectrum of job titles will quickly capture and share those little methods, ideas and FAQs that come up on every campus in similar ways.

Questions for the next implementation phase:

  • Under what license can/should material be shared and released?
  • Is it ethical to repost information from a source as opposed to linking to it?
  • Currently the Knowledge Base user accounts are restricted to anyone with a .edu account – but is that too broad?
  • At what point should the community develop editors or wiki-gardeners who check the veracity and quality of articles authoritatively?

CATS2008 Roundtable Discussion

Roundtable Discussion photo from my iPhoneLots of heady content in this discussion bringing together representatives of ITAC and DAT communities as well as CATS leadership and… um… others. Kathy (our director) singled out our wiki adoption as a technology project that has the promise of a positive transformation for her team. The general consensus about what qualities make an employee likely to be successful and promoted within the organization is communication skills, including people skills. Does live blogging count? Nevermind I’m paying attention to the jeezusphone and not looking attentive to the members of the panel on the daïs.

Notes on a Keynote and our presentation

During Andrew Keen’s keynote speech, we examined the Internet as a platform for human narcissism to become the driver in our culture. I’m either exemplifying this at the moment by blogging or maintaining my sanity. Because what I really sense here is a particularly painful lament for the old models of media business and cultural authority. Is the death of the music business bad for bands or fans? It’s only truly bad for the so-called taste-makers and other parisitic capitalist middleware. Then came our CATS presentation, which went very well – really good questions about total cost of adoption of a Wiki, both in terms of our development time and overall $$$, which of course we know almost nothing about.

Mobile post sent by Peter_D using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Fri., March 14, 2008: Vista Communities Showcase

Vista sections are not just for the classroom anymore. There are about 50 community sections of Vista being used by groups on our campus. Some are departmental areas for sharing materials and inviting committees to share collaboratively. Some are areas for communication among student groups. Some are set up as centers for tutoring students; others are graduate students sharing best practices and resources for finding jobs. Our presenters will show you how they are using their community and will discuss their reasoning for using Vista this way. This is a chance to see how Vista can be used beyond the classroom, and in different ways. Come with questions and with your own ideas. New communities may be requested through Laura Sederberg, manager of TLP, x4326. View the flyer for more information.