How can we write learning outcomes in more creative ways to stimulate the learner's mind to think, explore and learn? Let's explore:
Explain Everything Version (On YouTube):
Which version do you prefer? Or are both crap?
Whatever your opinion is, SlideSpeech (Invented by John Graves) with its' text-to-speech engine (converting all text in your 'Add Notes' sections in your PowerPoint slides), is a pretty cool and fast authoring tool to create audio-narrated presentations, which you can share on-the-fly.
You simply need to write the script for your slides and add them to the 'Add Notes' sections in your PowerPoint presentation. Then, you upload the presentation slides to SlideSpeech. Within minutes (or seconds for me!), the audio narrated presentation is ready to be shared to the world. It even empowers you to download the video version (zip-file format, too), and also auto-generates the QR Code for the URL to the online version. Cool!
Currently, they have a female and male voices for English, and one male for German.
Here is a short introduction about SlideSpeech:
Once your slides with notes are uploaded to SlideSpeech, you can edit further by changing the voice speed, pitch, add gestures and even record or upload audio (voiceover). You can even add interactivity (after the presentation) in the form of multiple choice questions, but this feature is still very basic and has some bugs, too (at least it feels, so!).
COMPARISONS & REFLECTIONS
To feel the difference, I created basically the same presentation (YouTube version above) using Explain Everything on my iPad.
In terms of production time, SlideSpeech version was done within minutes after completing the presentation and script. Since it doesn't support animation, I did have to create different slides for each animation or change, and to avoid text and animation running in the slides, I saved the presentation to 'PowerPoint Picture Presentation'. To my surprise, all the script was lost when saved to picture presentation, so I had to copy/paste again all the script from the PowerPoint version (original one) slide-by-slide (Grrr!).
On the other hand, with 'Explain Everything' I important all the slides or items (as graphics), and then needed to record the audio. This took actually more than one hour.
So, in terms of production speed, SlideSpeech wins big time!
SlideSpeech is especially great if your English _____! Though, the output does sound still a bit robotic, and although you can manipulate the voice pitch, speed and gestures (e.g. Add: yeah+), I still prefer a human voice with passion and human touch (of mistakes) when possible.
Having said that, people who speak _____ or have little time to convert their narration scripts into audio are going to love SlideSpeech.
SlideSpeech is still very limited in this area. This is where Explain Everything is so exciting and flexible. You have this white-space, and basically only your imagination limits what you can do there in terms of drawing, moving stuff from here and there with your fingers (if you are using an iPad), adding video, etc. This is an area, where SlideSpeech could learn a trick or two from tools such as Articulate Presenter and Storyline.
Both are pretty limited in terms of adding interactivity and assessment. SlideSpeech does allow you to create one multiple choice question after your presentation, but that is basically it. This feature seems to be under construction now.
Explain Everything allows you to publish directly to YouTube and other famous online cloud-based storage sites out there such as iTunes, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. SlideSpeech allows you to download the presentation as a video (and zip-file), and I really love the speed in which the audio-narrated presentation is ready just after upload...within seconds. The auto-generation of QR code is also cool.
It would be cool if SlideSpeech presentations could be synched and uploaded directly to YouTube, too.
Overall, John Graves has done a great job with SlideSpeech, and it will be interesting to see how this tool evolves. It is still very much a tool under construction. So, I am looking forward to the new features. Just hope that SlideSpeech remains free for a while longer!
Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see text-to-speech technology being infused into other PowerPoint-enhancement tools like Articulate Presenter. GoAnimate and Xtranormal are already using text-to-speech technology, so why aren't more PowerPoint enhancement tools doing it?
Don't they realize that many can't stand their own voices, or speak good English!
Finally, I have come to realize that my 1-minute learning nugget challenge is getting too tough (for all kinds of content). So, now I am thinking perhaps learning nuggets should be within a 3-minute spectrum. Just like a song, but no longer!
I am still learning :)