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Enhancing Hospitality resources

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Met with Thanasi Balaphas from Hospitality for lunch at Brie Cafe today. What a keen customer he is! He has gone out and set him self up for digital media, and is raring to go for improving the digital resources that Tennyson St use. He straight out explained to me that he has had informal feedback from both students and industry that the resources need improving. He is keen to start up Black Board shells for a number of the courses, and populate them with short demo videos of things such as making coffee, and supporting those videos with quizes in Black Board.

Thanasi has started recording short videos of these skill demonstrations, and wanted to meet with me to discuss where to next. Unfortunately we soon discovered that the videos Thanasi's camera records are in a unique format, and therefore need to be processed into a more commonly used format, as well as compressed to a size that is reasonable for use online.

We managed to get one of the videos into a Real Media format, which is a start but still not ideal. The best format to go for is Quicktime or .mov extension. I gave a quick demo in using Premier to export into mov, but premier won't import the Real Media format. Thanasi will need to research his camera's software and find a way to get the videos he is recording into AVI or MPEG. Either of these formats can be imported into Premier for compression export.

There is a chance that his camera may have setting inside it for this already. Only the manual could say.

Once Thanasi has the correct format, then its a matter of uploading the videos to a web server. I demonstrated and pointed out that while it is heavily used by people from al around the world, and therefore the content there can get a bit challenging at times, as a whole it is good and clean. I explained that even though the video might be hosted with YouTube, they provide code for it to be displayed and played streaming on any other web site including a Black Board course. I also explained that while YouTube and other services like Google Video offer free streaming video hosting, its always a good idea to store another copy of the video to a static media server such as OurMedia so that if students don't have the bandwidth for streaming video, or if YouTube where to suspend service temporarily, then the manual download from OurMedia is the alternative.

So, Thanasi will now find out how to get his videos into AVI, MPEG or more generally a Quicktime or Premier supported format. Experiment uploading movies to YouTube (You tube support Real Media files), and look into setting up an OurMedia account.

Thanasi will also initiate Black Board shells for each of the courses, and develop quizes to support the videos.

I will keep in touch with Thanasi, and support him with help in this whenever he needs it. I have encouraged Thanasi to attend Networked Learning workshops, and he will try to make it when he can.

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