How much does sound quality matter when recording a video or podcast?

Sound quality if very important when creating a video or podcast. Instead of telling you how important sound quality is, I decided to run an experiment showing you how different mics sound. The difference is telling, especially when you hear the difference between a nice mic and your standard mic on your laptop. When you hear the two one after another the difference is HUGE! Take a look for yourself in the following video:

How do I make my videos?

I have been asked this question so many times that I figured it was time for me to show you! So how do I make my tutorials? How do I add myself to a video when showing off a piece of software? Its easy and its complicated! I know that’s probably not the answer you are looking for. I think most people want me to say “I am using X software that does it all” but unfortunately it involves several pieces of software and hardware. In the following video I explain everything I am using:

UNCW eSports Tournament #1

We had our first eSports tournament at UNCW. This was an internal club event and was really a pilot for future events on campus. The event was awesome! We played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We ended up with around 70 participants, 120 people total there, and 173 views on our Twitch page.

That was way more than we expected. Then again, Smash is a very popular game and perfect for this kind of event, so that did play a part.

Other games will not be run in the same manner and we can’t expect the same turnout when using different games. For example, a league of legends tournament may have hardly anyone actually attend in person, rather, people would attend online. I like to tell people eSports is like no other sport and its closest comparison would be track and field. Anyway, here are a few videos from the event:

Actual event footage:

My reflections/lessons learned on the event:

How to create a podcast

See my latest video on how to create a podcast. This video is designed for the absolute beginner. I am in the process of creating some more advanced ones. In this video I cover the basic steps to create a podcast:

1. Find a topic!

2. Set a schedule

3. Hardware

4. Software

5. Publishing

6. Promoting your podcast

 

Instructional Design vs Learning Sciences

This has been a topic of interest since I first started my doctorate in 2006. Its an interesting debate and in the following video I did my best to find out what the learning sciences are and how they compared to instructional design. I wasn’t sure what I would find but I was surprised by what I did. Here are some of my key findings, see the video for all of them:

– There are only a few programs that call themselves learning sciences. Most consider themselves a blend.

– I can’t actually find a difference between the learning sciences and instructional design. I see authors try to distinguish them from one another but its mostly just a lot of word smithing.

– I can’t actually find any jobs in the learning sciences, at all, except for the few learning science programs looking for learning science faculty.

– The jobs learning science programs say their students are getting are instructional design jobs, which was quite unusual. You don’t create a program unless there is a specific demand for a job in that field that is not being met.

I challenge you to prove learning styles are real!

I’ve often referred to learning styles as one of the great unicorns in education. If you believe they are real, I challenge you to prove it! We currently have no evidence they exist and we have plenty of learning theories, with tons of evidence, showing how we learn. Those theories are contrary to learning styles. So if you don’t believe what I am telling you, what the research shows, please prove me wrong! I dare you! In fact, this site, worklearning.com will actually pay you $5,000 if you can prove they are real! So let me tell you how to do it if you are inclined to prove me wrong!

How to prove learning styles are real:

  • 1. Select a learning style test. There are 100s so you need to pick one. Each defines learning styles differently (just the start of the nonsense that is learning styles)
  • 2. Show validity and reliability evidence for the test (i describe in the video below how to do this)
  • 3. Give the test to participants and divide them into 2 groups (ie visual vs kinesthetic)
  • 4. Have at least 35 people in each group
  • 5. Develop content for each group. For one group, use only their learning style. For example, for the visual group develop only visual content. Then for the kinesthetic group use both visual and verbal content.
  • 6. Test participants on high (problem solving) and low (factual) content and compare results. You must prove that learning style made a difference. So you would need the visual group to perform best.

What do you think the results will be?

If you believe in learning styles and choose to ignore all research: You would believe that the Kinesthetic group should do terrible. They learn best with hands on activities. The visual group will do better because they are getting visual content.

If you believe is 1000s of research studies we currently have, all data, all evidence: The kinesthetic group will outperform the visual group on factual and problem solving knowledge. Why? Because we know that people learn better from visual and audio vs just visual. Learning style, learning preference, etc. has no bearing on this. You can say you are a visual learner, hands on learner, etc all you want but it doesn’t matter. You will perform well when you have well designed instruction regardless of what you think your learning style is.

And if you think the content was unfair since the kinesthetic group had visual + audio narration, just give both groups the same visual content and guess what, they will both perform the same. The visual group would NOT outperform the other group. Learning styles do NOT matter because they aren’t real. We have countless studies showing this phenomenon.

Here is a video that walks you through this:

Adobe Captivate Virtual Reality (VR)

In this video I review and show you how to use Adobe Captivate’s VR feature. Here is a summary of my findings:

What it is – A very easy to use VR developing environment. You can use both videos and images. Create quizzes. Create hotspots. Have users go through a specific path.

Tech required – 360 Camera. You really need a 360 camera to use this. Fortunately they are inexpensive and adobe gives you a few images and videos to play around with to explore the feature. If you are looking for one, here is the one we use in my technology lab: https://amzn.to/2ZsDGpv

Developing – Really easy. Like super easy. I give Adobe a 5/5 for ease of use. Its not super complicated but that is welcome considering its a up and coming feature that will really get fleshed out over the next few years.

Testing –

Browser – works awesome! This is where the program shines. Doesn’t require a VR device and anyone can use it on a browser. I tested Chrome and Firefox and both worked perfectly. It was really amazing (tbh)

Mobile – This means you are using Google cardboard to view. I was not impressed. First I should mention I hate viewing VR on a phone. I think its just terrible. But if you don’t have other options then its worth trying. Ok, so it works to view but you can’t actually press any hotspots. So that was a big issue if you need to have a quiz or any interactivity. Just putting someone in a room and letting them look around worked fine.

VR Headset – I tested the latest Oculus Quest headset. So to access the program from a VR headset you need to use a VR browser. I used the default Oculus Browser as well as Firefox. Here was the issue – I could view the program and it worked when I viewed the browser as a flat screen. So in VR you can view a browser as a flat screen (like a monitor) or immerse yourself into it (what VR should be). Unfortunately it did not work when you immersed yourself in. You could look around but it didn’t recognize the hand units to press any hotspots. So quizzes and hotspots were a no no.

Overall – Honestly I love it. Yep it doesn’t work well with the VR headset but the fact that it works with the browser is huge. I think there is a lot of application for it. I do however hope they keep working on the product and get it to work with the hand controllers to it works with VR headsets better.

Here is my video demo:

Long story short – My son accidentally spent $450 on phone apps

Yes it happened. My 6 yr old spent $450 on apps by mistake. Well not really by mistake, he just didn’t know he was actually buying them. Considering I teach people how to protect themselves and their children while online, this was quite embarrassing.

How it happened: My wife went to buy an app for him and accidentally turned off parental controls (this is what we think happened).

What he did: He bought several apps as well as in game add ons, like fake money, that could be used for in game purchases. There were several $100 charges for in game cash.

How I found out: Google emailed me thanking me for my purchase and then paypal contacted me telling me there was unusual activity

How did I solve the problem:

1. I checked the tablet and turned parental controls back on (they were off)

2. I contacted google who refunded all of the money within minutes

What did we do to my son: We used this as a learning experience for all of them (I have 3 kids). He was 6 so didn’t quite get what he was doing. My 8 yr old would of known full well what he was doing. So we spent some time going through all of the rules (though we have done this many times)

Here is a video where I explain the whole situation in more detail:

How to have a fast effective meeting

Meetings drive me nuts! Why? Because 90% of the time (made up stat) they are a waste of my time. The information could of been sent in an email that would of taken me 5 minutes to read. That is not to say meetings are bad, there are many times they are needed and the best course of action. As a result, I have put together 7 different tips to run a better, effective, faster, efficient, meeting.

1. Agenda

Basic tip that nearly everyone does but make sure you always have one.

2. Time each item

This helps your meeting run on time. Do not spend time on 1 of 5 items. Move on! Especially if that one item only affects 1 of 10 people at the meeting.

3. Facilitate

Just having an agenda and time will help you facilitate. Make sure everyone can be heard not just the one person that keeps asking questions to take you off topic.

4. No recurring meeting

Have meetings when you actually need to have a meeting. Otherwise its a waste of time.

5. Don’t have a meeting to plan more meetings

Use a calendar. Don’t have a meeting to schedule more.

6. Use email

Have a meeting when you need to have a meeting. Use email or talk 1 on 1 when you can.

7. Stand up

Get rid of chairs. This ensures people will make the meeting fast. This gets rid of those all day meetings that waste everyone’s time. Yea maybe its extreme but I love the idea!

Here is my video which goes into more depth for each tip: