Everyone is on the podcast bandwagon and it’s easy to see why.  These small knowledge objects are accessible, portable, and even entertaining.  Their uses are varied, and organizations are finding neat ways to leverage podcasting. I’ve recently built some e-learning modules for Gwinnett County Public Library (our first foray into e-learning, by the way) and I’m hosting them on MOSS 2007.  While I was constructing our Virtual Classroom, I discovered how to directly embed video and podcast players into the site.  Now it was time to bring the Virtual Classroom to life. 

Enter TVnima.  Ever heard of it?  TVnima.com allows users to upload a podcast into an online TV studio and then have the user construct a news broadcast, complete with a semi-customizable avatar lip-synching your podcast.  I fell in love with this tool instantly.  It’s flexible, easy to use, and your learners will enjoy having a face to go with the audio.  You can even put your avatar into a Power Point.  Check out the news broadcast I made just for this post.   Sorry for having to link to Youtube, but I couldn’t figure out how to embed the player into this blog!   

Here’s a quick guide for making your own broadcast with completely free tools: 

n      Record a short podcast with a free mp3 encoder, such as Audacity, and export the mp3.

n      Enter TVnima.com and start a new project using their documentation.

n      Coordinate your avatar’s appearance, gestures, and camera angles.

n      Record your finished broadcast using a free screen capture tool like CamStudio, which is enabled for full-motion recording.

n      Save the file as an AVI and upload to Youtube.

n      Retrieve the HTML code from Youtube for the embeddable version of your broadcast.  If you want to embed video directly into Sharepoint without using Youtube’s player, I can share the code later.

n      Past the code into the HTML of your webpage and enjoy. 

I currently have a TVnima avatar embedded into my Sharepoint site at work advertising the upcoming training opportunities at the library.  Has anyone else out there used TVnima for training purposes?  If so, for what?