RTFM Education – Virtualization, VMware, Citrix

Mar 16 2012   8:39AM GMT

Mike + Whiteboard [UPDATED]

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I’ve been experimenting with videos over the last couple of days. One of things I want to do is get back in front of a Whiteboard. I more or less stopped instructing about 2 years ago, and to be honest I kinda of miss being in front of a group guys with a whiteboard. The other thing I’ve noticed is how people seem to come alive when you get in front of a whiteboard. I don’t know why this is – because to be honest you can’t get more LoFi than a whiteboard and some pens!  As its been a while since I’ve been an instructor I’m a little bit rusty – and going through a couple of practise sessions has allowed me to get back in touch with my inner “instructor”. It’s nice to know that the old magic is still there! :-)

I’ve basically got three ways of doing this. The hardway and an easy way. What I’m looking for is your opinion on what works best. Now let me clear on what I mean. I don’t care if you think my presenting style sucks! Nor do I care if you think one is a better “quality” than another from a video reproduction perspective. What I’m really looking for is something untangible and not quantifiable. What “feels” best to you.

The Hard Way – involves setting up lights, camcorder, physical whiteboard and talking direct to camera… The files created are MASSIVE (in fact so massive, that if I was doing this regularly it would be quick to convert .MOD to .MOV and then upload), and take FOREVER to upload – so much so I’d have to do uploads during the late evening/early morning so as to not render my internet connection unusable… So as you might guess the “hard way” is called such, because it is!

This is SO bad, I had to pause/resumme the YouTube upload so many times, that eventually it failed. I had to pick a time when we were all unconscious in the house & not using the internet to get this file upload. In hindsight I could have re-encoded the .MOD file to something more lossy and then uploaded that – but I was aiming for as “native” quality as I could muster.

The Easy Way – involves me cranking up my iPAD, and using educreations.com – draw out my whiteboard. Personally, I like the Easy Way – the quality is top notch, you get rich deep colours which help with the diagrams – and you can embed PowerPoint (argggh!) and screen grabs into the show – also the audio recording is limited by the in-built mic on the iPAD – I’ve got a widget that does this for the iPhone, and I know there’s a widget that can be got for the iPAD as well…

I found the Apple iPAD Camera Connection Kit did allow me to connection my Blue Snowball Podcaster Mic to the iPAD. I was a surprised and relieved to find the IPAD2 did provide power to the mic from its internal battery – as I heard rumours that this hand’t been possible since IPAD1. I can’t speak for IPAD3 unless someone one wants to give me one for free! :-p  In fact looking at Blue Microphone’s website – they do actually state such a configuration is supported.]

What the “Easy Way” lacks is my ugly mug and my gestures… If I could embed a video of me into it would be no brainer. Why is that important? Well, I’m firm believer in the idea of something of the “personality” of the presenter makes a HUGE difference in presentation – and voice and whiteboard only – makes that difficult…

The Third Way: with this method I tried to marry the best of the Hard & Easy way together. It was a horrible faff. First I had to kick of two recording systems – one to capture my webcam/audio and the other to record the presentation. Once finished I had to record the screen again, to capture from educreations.com the presentation. Next I had to bring this content with the scope of my preferred video editing software (in my case Screenflow). Then I had to work pretty darn hard to get two separate videos to marry up. If I was doing this on regular basis I would have a “clapperboard” setup so I could marry the two separate videos into one. Once synch’d together I had to then upload the video to Youtube because putting the video. As you might gather there was a lot more post-production work to be done OR put another way – for every 15mins of video, there’s 45mins of post-production work.  The other thing is using Screenflow’s direct upload to Youtube – it took a long time to upload – I didn’t exactly time it but were talking about more than hour to get the video onto youtube.com. That might because I requested the highest quality – 1020p. So if you factor in the upload element – were talking somewhere around 2hrs to 15mins of video. That’s not a very good work to result ratio in my book…

During the upload period access to my remote lab is appalling – like 4sec delay between every keystoke. Imagine typing the word P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D with 4sec delay between each letter. You will get the picture…

Anyway, below is the three samples – both on the same topic – Resource Pools and Expandable Reservations – let me know what you think by leaving a comment or tweeting me @Mike_Laverick. Enjoy…

THE EASY WAY:

THE HARDER WAY:

THE THIRD WAY:

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