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Edutainment Tonight Podcast

Today’s post was pulled in from my EdTech blog.  I learned a lot on a recent assignment, and I think it is a good idea to share it with you today.

Introduction

I worked with a partner on my Edutainment podcast this week, and it was a wonderful experience. I think we got ahead of ourselves with this project (more on that below), but in doing so we learned a lot.

Edutainment Tonight

The series, Edutainment Tonight, is a weekly independent podcast focused on exploring the products and services that help us to fuse education and entertainment. Most shows are broken into 3 parts:

1) Introduction and discussion

Here Lana and I updated the audience with events and activities of the last week. This gives us a chance to keep the audience up to date on what we are working on, but also provides us with an opportunity to let the audience know about upcoming shows.

2) Product reviews

For this episode, we reviewed Psyko Audio Carbon headphones and SoundCloud. In addition to reviewing the products, we discussed how the products could be used for edutainment purposes.

3) Mailbag

Here we receive feedback from our listeners and answer their questions. For this first episode, we reached out to a gaming community for questions. In the future, we will include questions posted on the blog or on the YouTube channel.

This is actually the second episode to a show idea that started in EdTech 597: Introduction to Edutainment. However, it is the first episode using the current format. If this podcast continues, it will likely continue in the format used for this episode.

Struggles with the Format

Going into this project, I think Lana and I were aware of two things. First, it would be a long-form show. Because of it’s conversational, unscripted nature, the show is much easier to listen to for a longer period of time, and we did not feel that the show would evolve properly within a 10 minute constraint. Second, we knew that we wanted to try a video podcast format. Lana and I each set up multiple cameras, and tried to synchronize them with the PrettyMay call recording. Here is a short list of the problems that we faced:

1) For some reason, the PrettyMay call recorder on my desktop did not like working with the surround-sound headphones. Or, rather, it would record what was being said, but it would not allow me to hear Lana on the other end. For this reason, we had to switch to my netbook and hope that it wouldn’t crash.

2) When PrettyMay did record the call, it actually made a noise come through on my channel. The PrettyMay call recorder records the call on two separate channels: me on the left ear, and Lana on the right. This make it a lot easier to edit the channels individually. This was fortunate, as everytime Lana started to speak, it played the first part of the sound on my channel as well. It wasn’t hard to edit out these stray noises on my channel (I think Skype detected them, and corrected them accordingly), but it was time consuming.

3) Along the same lines, I erred when I first edited the file. Instead of simply muting the line when these stray noises occurred, I deleted them. When I later attempted to mix the audio and video, the alignment was way off. Thinking that it was simply a problem of the rate of the audio file, I decided to “stretch” the audio in premiere to match the video. This made matters worse; not only did it misalign, but now the error between the audio and video varied forward and backward from moment to moment. This required an enormous amount of post-production editing.

4) One of my co-host’s cameras did not record. This wasn’t that big of an issue, as we had the other recording.

5) When the final production was almost ready, I realized that I was getting a hissing noise in the audio portion of the video file. I could not continue with this, so I had to start over.

Ultimately, we decided to go with just the audio, which is now available on iTunes. Before the end of the course, I hope to post the video of the show on YouTube. I think it will be a really interesting show.

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