So, you have some great research, and you want to share it well with fellow researchers, students, and colleagues.
This Thing will look at some easy and fast ways to get your research out there to the world.
As you saw in Thing 11, these days we don’t need a television studio or movie crew to create an interesting and impactful research presentation or video. There are many free tools around which are easy to use.
In Thing 10 we used SlideShare as an example of how to share your research online. Also known as the “YouTube for slideshows,” SlideShare is another platform for publicising and sharing your research. The website allows users to upload their work in various forms such as PowerPoint, PDF, and others – and you can also explore popular presentations from others in particular categories, like education.
Prezi is a web-based presentation programme that allows users the freedom to manipulate their own narrative. You can zoom in, pan out and layer information. If used effectively, you can adopt a non-linear approach while easily highlighting key points. It has a bit more of a learning curve, but (with good preparation and thought) fabulous presentations can be quite easily created.
Why would Prezi be helpful to researchers? First, it’s different and tends to make audiences sit up and take notice. Second, and more importantly, as a non-linear presentation, it can help you to reconceptualise your ideas and think about what you’re trying to say in a new way.
Take a look at this great summary and presentation by Ned Potter from the London School of Economics:
Your ‘how-to’ guide to using Prezi in an academic environment
And this one from Andrew Blyth:
Good presentations for general research
To make your own, this is a good place to begin:
Getting started with Prezi
When used well these tools can communicate information effectively. However, if the structure and development of storyline has not been planned properly, it can leave audiences bamboozled. Consider the following:
Coherence: Prezi gives you the freedom to place objects anywhere. This is great but think carefully and have a planned structure. The cohesion of object placement should happen naturally as a result of your design.
Your visual theme: make it consistent in terms of colours, fonts and shapes.
While the zooming feature is fun, it can give people motion sickness if over-used. Be careful when you use it and try to ensure it has a practical purpose within your presentation aside from being a neat trick.
As a researcher, you can upgrade to an Educational Licence for free providing you sign up with an academic email address. This will allow you more storage space and set your Prezis to ‘private’.
Maybe you would like to record your computer screen in order to show someone how to use a piece of software for your research project. Screencasting tools will record your screen and so are useful for creating a step-by-step “how to.”
With the free version of Screencast-o-matic you can record your screen for up to 15 minutes and publish to YouTube or create an MP4.
Jing is a free screen recording application that can be downloaded to your computer. You may need to AskIT to authorise the download. Jing will create .swf files which may not play on all devices.
Most modern devices – phones, tablets, and laptops – include a camera to record video. You can easily upload and share this video via YouTube:
Using a webcam to upload to YouTube
Vimeo’s help centre
Uploading video of your research (or to promote your research) can be a powerful tool, but there are a few pitfalls to consider.
There are potential ethical issues around recording other people (especially research participants and children) and uploading the video to a public site. If you are using video in research, always check with the ethics committee before proceeding.
It is easy to do video badly. Poor sound quality, lighting, or framing can undermine the perceived legitimacy of your message. Producing quality video takes more time, effort, and expertise than other forms of sharing.
Some tools that can help with recording and editing video:
- MoveNote – an easy-to-use Google App that will record video to accompany your slides
- iMovie, Windows MovieMaker and YouTube Video Editor – editing and compiling video
Don’t worry, we’re not going to ask you to upload a video! For this Thing, we’d like you to try out either SlideShare or Prezi.
You can upload a PowerPoint presentation that you have prepared previously to SlideShare, or create a new presentation and upload it. (You could just make a short PowerPoint presentation of a couple of slides if you want. Realistically, this should take only a few minutes.)
If you are feeling adventurous, of course, you are welcome to create a Prezi presentation instead, or film a video and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.
Post a link to your presentation on your blog. Don’t worry too much about the production values at this stage – just give it a go. Each time you make one they will get better.
As part of the University of Auckland’s Google Apps for Education suite, all staff and students have access to Google Slides. You can create, edit, collaborate, present, and share slides this way as well. We’ll be looking at Google Apps further in Thing 18.
Getting started with Google Slides
You can add annotations and notes to online video with this handy tool
There are a variety of ways in which video can be used in research. These resources look at examples ranging from creating video about your research to using video to undertake your research.
“if you are able to show that research has an impact on broader public opinion and public debate, how do you do it? … we must also do knowledge mobilisation, which is that more creative stuff that we can do for other outlets”
Video: Public ethnography – making research popular
“Because new video technologies provide powerful ways of collecting, sharing, studying, presenting, and archiving detailed cases of practice to support teaching, learning, and intensive study of those practices, many learning science research projects now incorporate a substantial video component.”
Derry, S. J., Pea, R. D., Barron, B., Engle, R. A., Erickson, F., Goldman, R., … Sherin, B. L. (2010). Conducting video research in the learning sciences: Guidance on selection, analysis, technology, and ethics. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(1), 3-53. doi: 10.1080/10508400903452884
“As a community of authors using video, we seek to advance what takes place when researchers use video to record, annotate, and reflect on their work with teachers and learners in reflexive, epistemological, and hermeneutical collaborate learning endeavors.”
Goldman, R., Pea, R., Barron, B., & Derry, S. J. (Eds.). (2006). Video research in the learning sciences. Routledge: New York, NY.
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