SlideTalk: Using Talking Videos for Tutoring and Curation

Author Bio: Paolo Leva. 15 years experience with speech technology. Co-founder of slidetalk.net, a cloud service converting presentations into talking presentations. Always interested in finding new ways to use existing things, and in finding new perspectives on how technology is perceived, marketed, purchased and consumed.

Why videos?

Because videos are fun. Most kids (and adults too) love watching videos, this is a fact we all know about. Videos are a highly successful mean of conveying information since they are easy to consume, engaging and entertaining. This applies to instructional videos too.

In particular, talking videos prove to be a powerful pedagogical tool, by combining speech and images. Speech is used to tell the story or to provide context and explanation, while pictures are used to stimulate the visual imagination and memory, adding depth and value to the story.

However making a talking video was not nearly as much as fun as watching it. The process was quite complex and costly. Thanks to technology, this is no longer the case! We can all create talking videos quickly and cheaply.

SlideTalk (www.slidetalk.net) is a web service that was built for this exact reason. SlideTalk allows everybody to create good quality talking videos in a very simple and straightforward manner. What makes SlideTalk different from similar services is that it provides high quality text-to-speech, meaning that users can create talking videos without even speaking into a microphone. This method was a challenging activity requiring both technical and vocal skills, and also some expensive equipment. To add a speech over images, when using SlideTalk, users only need to type and edit text, as they would do with a word processor. To understand the impact of using text-to-speech instead of voice recordings, compare how much easier is to edit a text, as opposed to redoing a voice recording.

The short talking video here below will explain a bit more about how SlideTalk works. The article we will focus on how to use instructional talking videos built with SlideTalk for tutoring and curation.

Click on the link below to view a brief video clip (1:45).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSvCcMoBq5s

How to use talking videos for tutoring and curation

There are basically two ways to use talking videos in tutoring and curation.

The first use is to prepare material for the students as talking videos. By assembling the narration and the images in a video, we obtain a compact and efficient package that can be watched by students at any time and on any device. Typically this starts with a PowerPoint presentation or a set of pictures, upon which we can add the speech by simply typing the manuscript to be read by the text-to-speech. Below is an example of an instructional talking video built with SlideTalk in this way:

Click the link below to see a great SlideTalk presentation on Bloom’s Taxonomy (10:32).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBt_hBTemko

For talking videos to be effective, it is generally better to keep them quite short. Three videos of 10 minutes each are generally more efficient than one video of 30 minutes.

The second use is to let the students present their material as a talking video. This is fun and also very pedagogical since it requires students to prioritize and organize ideas. This activity will also force students to think in layers, by having them choosing how to structure the video, what story to tell and what pictures to use to illustrate the story.

SlideTalk is conceived to hide all the technicalities away from the user, to let tutors and students focus on content and not on technical details. The talking videos produced by SlideTalk are automatically published on the slidetalknet channel on YouTube by default so they can immediately be accessed from any device like PCs, smartphones, smart TVs and more. Possibility to publish on private channels are available to premium users.

SlideTalk offers free accounts, just visit www.slidetalk.net and get a free account right away.

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