Getting in Synch
Journal of the British Universities Film and Video Council, (76)
Multimedia has become technically easier to create (e.g. recording lectures) but while users can easily bookmark, search, link to, or tag the WHOLE of a podcast or video recording available on the web they cannot easily find, or associate their notes or resources with, PART of that recording. This article describes the development of Synote , a freely available web based application that makes multimedia resources available via the web easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for learners, teachers and other users through the creation of notes, bookmarks, tags, links, images and text captions synchronised to any part of the recording. As an analogy, users would clearly find a text book difficult to use if it had no contents page, index or page numbers. The provision of synchronised text captions and images with audio and video enables all their communication qualities and strengths to be available as appropriate for different contexts, content, tasks, learning styles, learning preferences and learning differences. Text can reduce the memory demands of spoken language; speech can better express subtle emotions; while images can communicate moods, relationships and complex information holistically. Deaf learners and non-native speakers may also be particularly disadvantaged if speech is not captioned. The synchronised bookmarks, containing notes tags and links are called ‘Synmarks’ and Synchronised Annotations called ‘Synnotations’. Synote has been developed with the support of JISC and trialed with the support of Net4Voice .
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