WordPress demonstrates the separation of content and form that characterizes the most recent incarnation of the web.

When I presented my webinar as a midterm, I expected to be able to screencast “live” websites and manipulations to make it more interesting to the viewers. Thanks to technology issues in my rural community (i.e., library connection’s bandwidth), that did not go well. I had sent draft slides to my instructor so she could see them, but I modified them quite a bit to present live online. So my planned discussion and questions ended up being displayed on a slide (where I had put them in the draft version, planning to take them out and into notes). Rather than use that recording here, I decided to remake it and make it closer to what I had envisioned.

Here’s what I learned trying to create the presentation with a PowerPoint add-on called iSpring:

  • I used PowerPoint to create the visual contents. Because my PC’s microphone or soundcard is not good, I used an Android app, Tape Machine, to record the short narrations using my Droid Bionic’s microphone, which has a much better sound quality. I can save these on Dropbox via my Droid and then insert them into the presentation as local files.
  • I used iSpring Pro to create the flash version of the slide show. Previewing the presentation on my local screen worked well; all sounds, video, and slides were there.
  • When iSpring creates the contents, it will also create (because I set the system to do this) an HTML file. Supposedly iSpring says just copy some of the code there (using the “<object” tag) and put it on your page. That did not work here in WordPress.
  • In order to get this to work, I had to use a plugin called “Top Flash Embed”; it grabs the SWF file that runs the presentation.
  • I uploaded most of the content via WordPress’s media uploader, except for the first video file, which was too big. I had to upload that via FTP on my host.
  • I noticed that the sounds and videos get stored in a “data” folder when I created and saved the local version. Because the presentation wasn’t running correctly after I uploaded the files, I surmised that the applicable have to be put back in a data folder (within the same folder the SFW file resides)  in order to appear properly in the presentation. And that worked!
  • The help and tutorials at iSpring are relatively useless. I got much more savvy by looking at WordPress Flash plugins and the WordPress Codex.

I’m thinking I learned enough with this little venture that I should create a tutorial on how to do it. I bet other iSpring users would find it useful.

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