Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Converting video for portability using Miro

Bronwyn recently discovered Miro for video conversion and she wont stop talking about it. Miro is an open source tool which solves some of the format problems encountered when using video on various online platforms, and mobile devices such as ipods and cellphones.  Bronwyn stumbled upon Miro when looking for free online stuff  to convert video for use on WikiEducator. Also a staff member was having problems with students viewing Windows Media video formats in Moodle - they only played in Internet Explorer - they would not play in Firefox browsers. This dilemma shows how important it is to use a more portable format for video, e.g., MP4 (MPEG) or Ogg. What are these formats you might say? Well MP4 is a bit like MP3 for audio - a more compressed version of the file, though there are software patents on them so they are not what is considered an open format. Ogg on the other hand is fully open which means anyone can tinker with the codecs and improve them as they are not patented.  So if you want fully open video use Ogg formats, otherwise use portable options such as MP4. The long and the short of it is that video in MP4 format compared to AVI or Windows Media will be more likely to play in any browser,  or on mobile devices - other formats would be very frustrating for students.

Here are the links for more information about converting  video to MP4 and Ogg. See: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Converting_video. Ogg enables video to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and WikiEducator. The free Miro Theora video converter is available for Windows and Mac computers and features a simple drag and drop interface. This is the recommended tool for converting video.
When you install Miro, it will prompt you to download the .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

It's a bit like having to download Lame to use Audacity for converting wav to mp3 files.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Free Elluminate seminar: Facilitating an online course

Here is information about another free webinar coming up in a couple of weeks.

Friday 20th August 12.00 hours New Zealand (World Clock).

Greg Walker will be discussing how he facilitates online courses. Greg is an educational technology developer and distance education coordinator at the Leeward Community College, Hawaii, USA.

This session will be facilitated by Jane Field and Rayna Dickson.

The webinars will be held in the Elluminate virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/2u7h9pe

Click here for information about how to access Elluminate.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to facilitate virtual teams

Here are the recordings of the session in which Terry Neal talked about how to facilitate virtual teams.

Elluminate recording - you do need to be able to access Elluminate to be able to view this.
Audio recording - useful for people who cannot download Elluminate.
Video recording - this may take a while to download.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Free online seminars coming up in next couple of days

Hello everyone

There are three free webinars, or online seminars coming up over the next few days as part of the 'Facilitating Online' course, which are open to everyone.

Friday 6th August 11am - 12pm New Zealand Terry Neal (Blended Solutions): How to facilitate virtual teams

Monday 9th August 14.00 hours New Zealand time David Hood (Greenpeace): Facilitating online networks and communities

Saturday 14th August 10.00 hours New Zealand time Nancy White (co-author Digital Habitus): Online facilitation

The webinars will be held in the Elluminate virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/2u7h9pe

Click here for information about how to access Elluminate.