After all looking through various emerging tools, I decided to play with Narakeet and see how it worked. I felt like it was important to use Narakeet to create something that had the potential to be integrated into my instruction, if ever needed. This would help to see if it was a practical and user friendly option. For my creation I decided that I would create a presentation about how to add two numbers using a ten frame which is what we are currently studying in class.
For those who haven’t read the previous post explaining what Narakeet is, it takes power point presentation and turns them into videos. The creator has the option of adding narration by recording themselves or adding notes into the presenter notes section of the powerpoint and Narakeet will provide the voice over. The first thing I noticed was that you can’t animate the powerpoint. So after watching the first attempt I realized that having the ten frame go from having four to six counters in the span of one slide, might be confusing for some. I needed to change this in order to show the counters being added one at a time. This meant every time I added a counter to the ten frame I had to create a new slide. Depending on the audience they may or may not be necessary. Since my target audience is kindergarteners I felt it was important that they actually did see each counter being added to the ten frame, in order to make the concept clearer. I also added numbers to the counters to identify them for the students.
I also decided to use the automated voice over feature. I feel like if teachers are working from home there may be times that recording your own videos could be hard because of background noise and just remembering how you want to explain things. In the first recording I selected medium speed. It was way too fast and I wrote too many words in each slide. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure the timing out. I added commas, to which the voice over actually read saying the owrd comma! Trying to get the voice timing to a speed and pattern became the more frustrating point for me about this activity. I eventually discovered that if you changed the speed to slow and made a new line for each sentence the timing seemed to work out better. Similar to the visual issue I started with of having to add counters slide by slide, I also found that I needed to count the counters one by one on each different slide. This was because of needing a different slide for each addition but also to ensure that the students would be able to understand the connection between the addition of each counter and the counting process.
The actual voice over process had a lot of options. You are able to select from different nationalities and male/female voices. Different voices spoke with different intonations and rates of speech. I only played with these for a short time, as I believe it has the potential to become very time consuming if you are trying to find the perfect voice. After about 7 attempts I realized that there was a tab that said how to improve your presentation. I did look at this briefly, but i had figured out a lot of the suggestions by this point, but it is there if you need it.
One thing I did like was that if automatically added your speaker notes, (if you selected add the captions) so any errors where ones you typed, not errors that were lost in the process. I wasn’t exceptionally excited by the voice over choices they all sounded very computerized, but if given a choice between muffled and computerized. Computerized and clear is definitely the better choice.
I can see this being helpful for both students and teachers. I think once you get the feel of how to formulated the powerpoint to make it run smoothly during the presentation it has some good points, such as the voice over feature and the captions. At the same time if the instructor or student is always using the computerized voice over, it has the potential to not feel personal. I would say it would be helpful for small quick teaching moments, but I wouldn’t suggest creating all lessons in this manner.
I think it is important that we have options like this available though for our students especially right now with so many students learning at home. I can’t necessarily see a kindergartener creating a video from a powerpoint, but I can see this being extremely helpful for older students. The voice over feature would be fantastic for those who don’t have the ability to record their presentation for whatever reason, be it lack of microphone, maybe they have 5 brothers and sisters in the house, or maybe they worked until 9pm and are doing school work at midnight. The reason is irrelevant, It would allow those students to create and add narration to their presentation in a way that may have occurred otherwise.
Narakeet. Retrieved on October 23, 2020, from https://www.narakeet.com