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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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Through watching the Randy Pausch lecture (mentioned in my previous post) I discovered a great free tool for learning how to program, called Alice. What's different about Alice is thatAlice: Through the Monitor (or Creating new worlds for Novices)

The Wachowski brothers have a firm grasp of visuals and a healthy respect for graphic novels. They also know how to write a script that challenges the viewer's perceptions ofReview: V for Vendetta

CommonCraft videos make me want to hurt myself. I can't help but think "why didn't I think of doing this?" Lee and Sachi have done a great job creating a successfulTuesday TubeWatch: CommonCraft

Is it the "training industry" or the "learning industry"? (Yeah, I know there are plenty of alternates to make this even more confusing, but let's stick to these two forTraining vs. Learning

I'm of two minds about this movie. On the one hand, it was extremely well done, especially the directing and acting, and the subject was enticing and kept my interest.Review: The Aviator

Generally speaking, women are nuts for Valentines Day. Generally speaking, men don't get it. We participate, frequently against our will, but we don't really get it. Why is there a specificValentines Day!

Apple - Trailers - Iron Man - Trailer - Large Hey, the trailer for the May 2008 movie is out! Looks good, but I'm not totally sold yet. I'm a littleIron Man - Movie Trailer

Just prior to its theatrical release, I read the book upon which Martin Scorsese's Hugo is based, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." The book is a beautiful story, told inReview: Hugo (and The Invention of Hugo Cabret)

Apple - Trailers - Spider-Man 3 Oh, man. I can't wait for this. I'm impressed by how many effects shots they already have done, and it's still a year before itSpider-Man 3 Teaser Trailer (w/Superman Returns)

I came across a post tonight by a professor at the University of Georgia. He uses his response to a recent post on the NPR blog All Songs Considered asChanging morality to fit the technology

NBC.com > Heroes "They thought they were like everyone else... until they woke with incredible abilities." When I first heard of this show, I figured it would be an X-Men rip-off,Heroes preview

Well, I'm working on podcasting technology for work, so I figured I'd better get my feet wet and learn how to do it. As such, here is a lame exampleOdeo podcasting

This is quite simply one of the best Star Wars trailers I've seen. The problem is that it's the cinematics associated with the game, and no in-game footage, so the actualIf only the Star Wars films were like this...

For loyal readers (all 1 of you, including me), let me apologize for the dearth of posts lately. My second daughter was born recently and I was therefore otherwise engaged.Back from break

SoSF Interview With the “Tin Man” Creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle - Slice of Scifi Yeah!!! Here's some hope for "The Pretender" fans... can't wait to hear more"The Pretender" to continue/conclude online!!

Podcasting for corporate training example – how I did it

I mentioned in a previous post that I was experimenting with [tag]Podcasting[/tag] for [tag]training[/tag] purposes at work. I thought it might be nice to share what I’ve learned so far, the process I went through, and for better or worse, the result.

The point of this exercise was two-fold: to experiment with the technology and tools, and to introduce potential uses of podcasting to a training industry audience focused in a [tag]manufacturing company[/tag]. The original audience all work with me directly, and the script reflects that so there may be some small things that don’t make sense to a general audience. Overall, though, the content is pretty generic.

[By the way, I should mention that neither the script nor my delivery are works of art (especially the latter). This is just a “get the job done” introductory example.]

The process:

After writing the script, I coerced my wife into playing the part of a podcasting expert so I could “interview” her. (You’ll be happy that I did. Aside from the fact that she did an excellent job, it’s just nice to stop listening to me for a while.) I chose the [tag]interview format[/tag] because I wanted to showcase an informal delivery method.

We used Gabcast.com to record the audio over the phone. It was free to open an account, and easy to use. After a couple screw-ups (mine), we recorded a version we could live with.

I took the raw [tag]Gabcast[/tag] [tag]MP3[/tag] file and played with it a bit in an older version of [tag]SoundForge[/tag] until I realized that I had no idea how to use that tool. I’m sure it will be great once I figure it out, but for now I’m using Audacity. It’s free, pretty powerful, and very easy to use.

I cleaned up the audio a little–took out some hiss, messed with the volume, etc.–and added a free music loop I found as an intro and “outro”.

Then I uploaded the new file to my Odeo.com account. [tag]Odeo[/tag] is also free and provides an upload feature, which isn’t available on Gabcast’s free accounts.

The result:

Then I wrote this post, incorporating Google’s [tag]flash audio player[/tag] (below) to point to the Odeo-hosted file. (Odeo automatically inserts a short ad over the first three seconds of the file.)

or download the MP3 file directly.

And there you have it. That might seem to be a lot, but here’s what it boils down to:

  1. Write a script.
  2. Record a phone conversation.
  3. Optionally, edit/enhance the audio file.
  4. Upload the finished version and link to it.

I hope that’s helpful for someone.

It’s worth noting also that in a [tag]corporate environment[/tag] I’d probably not use the free hosting services, if only because we’d want to keep the content internal to the company. Instead, I’d use a phone tap or a VOIP service (or for solo work, a microphone) to get the original recording, then upload the finished version to an intranet site.

[tags]Audacity[/tags]

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