Images, Audio & Video

New audio recordings: ICA talks & debates

 Previously unpublished recordings of ICA talks from the 1980s went online last week on the Britsh Library’s Archival Sound Recordings website.

“Featuring talks and debates with top cultural, artistic and political figures of the day, this latest addition the archive offers a chance to explore in detail cultural directions in the UK from 1981 to 1994.

The talks comprise over 880 recordings, over 1000 hours of audio, on subjects including art, literature, performance, fashion, film, music, philosophy, psychology, biology, feminism, AIDS and politics”

These recordings are publicly accessible and as the LSE Library also subscribes to this collection many are available to download for academic use.

Read more about the collection or access the collection

Example recording

From 1987, Politics of Exile: Asia, Caribbean, East Europe A conference on the political situation in Asia, the Caribbeans and Eastern Europe, speakers include Tariq Ali.

Image source:

September 28th, 2009|Images, Audio & Video|Comments Off on New audio recordings: ICA talks & debates|

Staff Survey – lecture capture

Every year we send out a survey to staff to gauge the effect of various technologies, such as Moodle and it’s many components, online readings and lecture capture on their teaching. This year 138 people completed the survey. I was particularly interested to see the feedback on the automatic lecture capture system and this proved to rouse the strongest comments. We wanted to get a general sense of who was using lecture capture and what they thought about it, but more specifically, we wanted to hear from lecturers who might use it in their teaching.

Breaking down the stats and looking at solely the responses from lecturers (59) it was interesting to see a very distinct divide between those who had used the system and those who had never used it. By looking at the stats in this way it was clear that the majority of lecturers who have doubts or fears about the technology have never used the system and those that value lecture capture and think it is a benefit to students are already using it. There were one or two instances where people had used the automatic system in the past and were put off by technical problems etc.

Whatever the case, it seems that lecture capture is polarising opinion and that a number of fears about the technology are adding to this. One of the biggest fears about lecture capture is that it will affect student attendance and although there’s no evidence to back this, there’s little evidence to quash it either! Perhaps we need to do some focus groups with lecturers who have been using the system for a few years to gauge the feeling about class attendance. However, if some courses find that attendance has gone down and others don’t, what then? And is lecture attendance really an issue if you’re giving students the choice? There is also a fear that lecture capture will replace live lectures altogether and that somehow lecture capture is taking the emphasis away from face to face contact via lectures, seminars and office hours. Lecture capture is designed to be a revision tool, a way to help students recap and further understand a lecture, fill out any missing notes from lectures and to help those for whom English is not their first language. These benefits are what students list when they say they like the system. Lecture capture can be recorded and released for a short period of time, such as revision period, and yet there are still fears about students skipping lectures, declining note taking skills and lethargy from students. So, how do we respond to all of these comments? We’re very much aware that a survey can only give a slice of staff opinion, especially as only 138 people responded. Would it help to have a wider debate about this issue?

August 5th, 2009|Announcements, Images, Audio & Video, Tools & Technologies|Comments Off on Staff Survey – lecture capture|

Symposium at York University: lecture capture, content production & Second Life

York Minster by chez_worldwideJane and I participated in a one day in-house symposium at the University of York this week. The audience were made up of both academic and support staff interested in learning from other universities about lecture capture, audio and video content production and Second Life. We were asked to talk about audio and video content production and so showcased some of the video & audio that’s produced here. We focused on lecture capture momentarily as although it is the most prolific output of media at the LSE, with 909 lectures having been captured in just one term this year, two other universities: Birmingham and Newcastle had already given extensive presentations on this subject. Instead, we wanted to highlight the idea of audio and video as a part of teaching, not just as a means to capture the teaching that’s already going on. We played examples of interviews & discussions, role playing scenes, groupwork, screencasts, video and audio podcasts as well as highlighting some of the Wimba tools and audio feedback. We also talked about the issue of scaling up to meet increased interest in media, professionally produced video vs the DIY approach and touched on the copyright issues involved.

It was an interesting day with good discussions both formally and over coffee/lunch and it was really nice to meet people in similar roles. The most lively debate came from the lecture capture sessions. It seems that across the board, the majority of students really value lecture capture (no real surprises) and staff are cautious about the educational benefits and fears about attendance. There were certainly many parallels between the student and staff surveys at both Birmingham Medical School and Newcastle university and the LSE. Rob Jones’ findings from Birmingham were particularly interesting because they compared the relationship between usage stats and grades. The findings look promising where the mean rose from 51% to 55% and the failure rate dropped to 2/69. The quality of answers also improved with students indicating a greater breadth of knowledge and looking at a wider set of resources.

The Second Life talks in the afternoon reminded me that Second Life is good for simulation and specifically designed educational activities but that perhaps we should be looking at other virtual worlds for better communication, movement, role play etc. Sheila Webber from Sheffield and Steve Warburton from King’s College agreed that Second life is probably not sophisticated enough for a young gaming audience; the average age of SL users is apparently 33. Steve flagged up MetaPlace, OpenSim (open source) and Blue Mars as potential Virtual World’s to explore, so perhaps another pilot project is due. Read Jane’s Social Software, Libraries and E-learning blog for more information on the lecture capture and Second Life presentations.

July 10th, 2009|Conferences, Images, Audio & Video|Comments Off on Symposium at York University: lecture capture, content production & Second Life|

DIVERSE video and teaching conference 2009

Aberystwyth sunsetThis week I’m attending the 9th annual DIVERSE conference in Aberystwyth. DIVERSE stands for “Developing Innovative Visual Educational Resources for Students Everywhere” and the focus of the conference tends to be on video resources, although it is not entirely limited to that subject.

It has to be said, I was expecting to be subjected to a certain amount of wind and rain, so came prepared with umbrella and raincoat which of course haven’t been out of my bag as the weather has been fantastic (see photo).

Highlights so far include a talk by Mark Childs of Coventry on the subject of students developing a sense of virtual presence when using virtual worlds such as Second Life. Fundamentally, his message was that not a small amount of time needs to be invested in generating such a sense of presence. From his research he also found a correlation between those students that valued their Second Life activities as a learning experience and those that felt a sense of presence when using Second Life. Mark also came up with a couple of good words, my favourite being “cyberdisinhibition”. I don’t think I need to explain its meaning.

I also went to a session presented by Olaf Schulte who was talking about the Opencast project, which intends to develop a completely open source lecture capture system over the course of the next year. It certainly looks an interesting project and I’m keen to see what they come up with. He also mentioned a couple of other projects developing along similar lines that already exist, his own REPLAY project and also one called MediaMosa which I previously hadn’t heard of.

Today’s keynote speaker was Obadiah Greenberg from YouTube who talked a lot about his background setting up a lecture capture system at UC Berkeley and how they used as many distribution platforms as possible to widen the availability of Berkeley lectures. He certainly prompted me to think why aren’t any regular LSE lectures available through either iTunesU or, which I guess was his intention. Finally, today’s most entertaining presentation was by Steve Hull from JISC Digital Media who gave a talk on the basics of producing good quality films using basic equipment, such as a Flip camera. Rather than try to describe the talk I can recommend watching when it becomes available. Which of course prompts me to mention that all of the sessions at this conference are being recorded by Echo 360, so if you aren’t at the conference you can just go to the conference schedule page and click on the link to each session and then find the Echo 360 link for the recording.

There are of course the now usual Twitter and Flickr feeds and I think this conference definitely has the highest ratio of iPhones per participant that I have been to so far. Maybe I’ve only noticed because I’ve just acquired one myself 🙂 but then given the subject of the conference there’s almost certainly a high concentration of Apple fans here I think.

It’s the conference dinner this evening, then a few sessions tomorrow morning and of course the 5 hour train journey back to London to enjoy.

June 25th, 2009|Conferences, Images, Audio & Video, Teaching & Learning|Comments Off on DIVERSE video and teaching conference 2009|

Echo360 "EchoSystem" reviewed

Screenshot of online lectureHere at LSE we’ve been using lecture capture systems for a few years now, starting with Anystream Apreso and moving on to EchoSystem by Echo 360 over the last academic year. I’ve been meaning to post a review of our experience of implementing these systems on this blog, never quite getting around to it. Eventually, the editor of the Association for Learning Technology newsletter asked Chris Fryer and myself to write a review, which you can find in full on the ALT newsletter website.

Kris Roger.

May 19th, 2009|Images, Audio & Video, Teaching & Learning, Tools & Technologies|Comments Off on Echo360 "EchoSystem" reviewed|

Launching JISC Digital Media at BAFTA

Yesterday afternoon I went off to the salubrious surroundings of Piccadilly to BAFTA headquarters to attend a launch event for the newly rebranded ‘JISC Digital Media‘ service. The new service previously existed under the name TASI, which we were told, in no uncertain terms, we are no longer allowed to mention. I came across TASI many years ago as a very useful support website for using digital images in teaching. Not only providing the technical know-how, but also some very good pedagogical reasoning for using images.

Video and sound too!
As part of their relaunch and new funding, the new JISC Digital Media service also supports use of video and audio material in addition to still images. To quote the launch booklet “JISC Digital Media exists to help the UK’s FE and HE communities embrace and maximise the use of digital media”. They’ve redesigned their website, with a bright new look, to make it far easier to find useful support guides and related materials, such as upcoming training workshops.

Digital media helpdesk
One thing that had passed me by previously was that they also run a national helpdesk. They can provide technical and copyright advice for institutions looking to set up support for digital media use within their teaching and learning. They can also provide help for more complex requests such as setting up a digitisation programme within an institution – possibly leading to consultancy.

Upcoming training courses run by JISC Digital Media include “Copyright and Digital Images”, “Colour Management”, “Building a Departmental Image Collection”, and “Essential Photoshop Skills” and many others.

If you are an LSE member of staff then please contact us at CLT if you have any questions about the JISC Digital Media service or about digital media in general.


March 6th, 2009|Images, Audio & Video, Teaching & Learning|Comments Off on Launching JISC Digital Media at BAFTA|

ITN/Reuters newsfilm archive now available to LSE teachers

Sir Trevor McDonald reporting on the Edinburgh conversation between Soviet, British and US military officials in 1983Great news, after a Herculean effort digitising a ridiculous number of hours  of news footage (3000 to be precise) the newsfilm online project has made the full ITN/Reuters archive live and available to all LSE teachers.  You’ll find all the usual famous news clips from ITN and Reuters plus  some very obscure clips dating all the way back to the 1st of January 1910 (footage of German military action if you’re interested). If you are on the LSE campus simply login using the direct access button. If you’re off campus you need to login via the UK Federation button.

Please contact us at CLT if you would like to make use of any of these clips in your teaching.  We can provide advice on how best to present video in your Moodle course or how to include them in your PowerPoint slides for class teaching. You can e-mail us at or phone extension 7833.

September 29th, 2008|Images, Audio & Video, Teaching & Learning|Comments Off on ITN/Reuters newsfilm archive now available to LSE teachers|

George Soros live webcast

George Soros - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2003 - George Soros is speaking tomorrow (May 21st) as part of the regular LSE events programme but this is the first time that LSE has streamed such an event live. I mention it here because we’ve been able to do this on the back of our investment in Apreso (now known as Echo 360) and the automated recording of teaching lectures. Using Osprey SimulStream we’ve been simultaneously capturing and streaming some of our public lectures to extra LSE lecture rooms as an overflow facility. If you’d like to watch the web cast live there will be a link from the LSE events page tomorrow from 5 p.m. (BST) and The Washington Note are also hosting the webcast. Mr Soros is funding the back end of the streaming infrastructure. have posted an article if you would like more detail.

George Soros photo used under a Creative Commons licence courtesy of WorldEconomicForum at

Type an mp3!

I just found VozMe on Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day. It’s a simple tool for creating an mp3 from text you type. Here is my last blog post as an mp3*!  You can type in English, Spanish or Italian.  There are also WordPress and Blogger Plugins so it can become a feature of your blog.

*I’m not sure how long VozMe keeps the mp3s for so I’m attaching it too: VozMeExample

Inaugural Echo 360 users conference, Coventry

Yesterday I attended the first-ever Echo 360 (formerly Apreso) conference which saw 40 or so people gather at Coventry University to look at how they are implementing lecture/event recording systems at their institutions. The day started with a number of presentations and rather than take you through every point I shall highlight some of the more interesting ideas raised during these presentations.

First off was the University of Birmingham who talked about their experience. A couple of things I mentioned that might be useful at LSE was as well as recording an event with Echo 360 it is possible to simultaneously stream this live at a fairly minimal cost. This uses a feature of the standard Echo 360 Osprey capture cards that we previously didn’t know about, called “Simulstream”.

They also showed a rather nifty remote control camera which may be of use at LSE where the lecturer would like to zoom the image rather than use the standard wide-angle shot. This could possibly be integrated into future versions of the LSE standard classroom lectern/media controls available to the teacher.

Newcastle University talked a little bit about evaluation and how they are going to assess the student experience of recorded lectures and pedagogical impacts for lecturers. Newcastle are unusual in the UK in that they are using Lectopia which merged with Apreso to form Echo 360 and they talked a little bit about their implementation. One useful feature of Lectopia they mentioned was that a ‘scheduled’ recording can be started using an audio trigger rather than starting at a set time. This means that there is less likelihood of five minutes of dead time being recorded before the actual lecture starts. this is hopefully something that will make it into a future version of the Echo 360 system. They also talked about the possibility of integrating the lecture recording schedule with their lectures timetable system. From the questions and discussion arising it also looks like the next version of Echo 360 will allow us to connect lectern controls to the lecture recording system which will allow easy operation by teachers if they want to stop or pause their recording.

Jocasta Williams from Echo 360 talked a lot about evaluation, so I think we will have to get back to her regarding our evaluation later this academic year. She also provided a link to some useful evaluation resources (including further research projects on lecture recording).

We were of course shown the next version (2.0) of the Apreso/Echo 360 event recording system and it looks as if they have certainly been listening to our feedback as most of the features/improvements that we’ve previously requested seem to have made it into the new product. We are just about to start beta testing the next version at LSE so we should the able to get our teeth into this pretty soon.

November 20th, 2007|Conferences, Images, Audio & Video|Comments Off on Inaugural Echo 360 users conference, Coventry|