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I’ve just finished watching a video presentation by Mark Pentleton of Coffee Break French and Radiolingua fame (see my prior post on Online French Language Resources), describing how he creates enhanced audio podcasts for language learning. This is an excellent roadmap for all kinds of educational podcasts (with a Mac), such as the Mechanics Minilessons I’m trying (slowly) to produce for my Physics 1A class.
I’m trying a (yet another) new thing for teaching, putting together “minilessons” for my Physics 1a class at UCSD covering specific topics that I don’t get to in lecture, or are worth a little focused attention. This was a somewhat intensive project as time is short (the quarter has already started!) and I’ve never made a “video enhanced podcast” before, but I think I’ve got must of the bugs worked out. You’ll nevertheless clearly notice some audio edits.
The audio was recorded on my laptop (built-in mic) into Garage Band; the slides were made in Powerpoint and saved off as individual images, and then individually dragged into the podcast track in Garage Band. The whole thing was saved off as a AAC encoded .m4a file that Youtube seems to be able to handle.
Have a look, let me know what you think and if you learned anything! The lectures themselves are also being audio and video podcast from UCSD.
This past weekend I attended the inaugural Boston Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association. An interdisciplinary conference, undergraduates from MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern, UMass, WPI, Emmanuel & Olin were there presenting their research on a wide variety of topics, from Astrophysics to Sociology. It was heavily science-oriented, but included non-science topics as well (including a interesting comparison of the author of Peter Pan to Nietzsche by Heidi Hirschl of Harvard). The conference was dominated by poster presentations – I guesstimate there were roughly 100 posters, including one from my own UROP student, Daniella Baradalez Gagliuffi. Eight very excellent undergraduates talks were given during the course of the day, including three from MIT students. I was particularly impressed with how well these talks were given, absolutely clear and professional. There were also three “keynote” faculty speakers, Robert Langer from MIT (who runs a humungous lab), Daniel Schrag from Harvard University and Bruce Walker from Harvard Medical.