What do teaching and marketing have in common?

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The short answer is: a lot!

The long answer is that they have more in common that most would think. However while teaching is viewed as a mostly altruistic act, marketing has a bad name for being pushy and forcing products on people. The reality is that both teaching and marketing want to achieve the same result. A teacher wants the student to accept (learn) an idea or piece of fact while marketers want the customer to accept (buy) a product or service. Marketing is most often associated with spending money while teaching is considered an act to help the student acquire knowledge.

Teachers rarely (consciously) use marketing tactics to accommodate learning while many marketers have realized the power of providing information while also accommodate the selling of products. Infomercials are perfect examples of that.:

An infomercial is a form of television commercial that resembles regular TV programming[1] yet is intended to promote or sell a product, service or idea……Most often used as a form of direct response television (DRTV),……[4][5] Infomercials are also known as paid programming (or teleshopping[6] in Europe).….

While the term “infomercial” was originally applied only to television advertising, it is now sometimes used to refer to any presentation (often on video) which presents a significant amount of information in an actual, or perceived, attempt to promote a point of view. …” /From Wikipedia/

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Teachers could also benefit from thinking more along the lines of marketing if they want to successfully convey knowledge. Some practises that could help are:

  • Relating to the usability of the knowledge/How this knowledge can be used later on.
  • Nice packaging (relatable text, nice graphics, gamification, etc.)
  • Give points and rewards.
  • Make it accessible for a wider audience.
  • Use thought leaders and role models.

These are just a few tips on how to think more as a marketer to achieve higher results.

How to quickly edit audio for online lessons III. background sound and music

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This is the third part of my “How to quickly edit audio for online lessons..”

Find here part1 and part2.

Find legal sounds and background music for your lessons:

freesound ––background noises, nature sounds and instrumental music

free music archive—creative commons licensed music for your projects.

List of CC licensed music—list of online resources to find free and legal music for your audio and video projects.

Always check the licence before using any music for your lessons even if you just intend to use them as an educator.

Create the best online learning environment

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Most people only think of the platform or app they use when they think about online learning environments. (Zoom, Google Classroom, Thinkific, etc.) Creating an effective learning environment is so much more than just the app you use. Teachers and students realized during lockdown that having a quiet and organized space for learning is essential. Unfortunately not many are able to create the perfect environment due to space or tech restrictions but there are still a few adjustments you can make to have a more organized and effective space.

  • You’ll need more space for cables and devices so make room for them in advance.
  • If it’s possible have more than one device ready for the lesson in case one stops functioning properly.
  • Remove all food or drink from your immediate surroundings and put them further away from your device.(Yes, the coffee mug too..)
  • Put the device you use on a flat surface, preferably on a table.
  • Do not study in bed. While it’s tempting if you’re just revising or reading a text, it signals rest and it’s not helping in keeping focus.
  • Avoid multi-tasking with social media.
  • Schedule in frequent breaks for relaxation, eating and drinking. Online learning is more stressing for the eyes so make sure to have pauses to
  • Have a way to take notes during live lessons either on a notepad or use a note taking app.
  • Put books and other study materials close to you so you can use them if technology fails during a live lesson. Never rely solely on websites, pdfs and docs to deliver your lesson or to answer questions.
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Learning online (or teaching) is very different than just browsing, watching shows, or playing a game so you’ll need a dedicated setup.

How to quickly edit audio for online lessons II. Editing essentials

Audacity desktop (source: audacityteam.org)

This is the second part of the Beginner Audio Editing for Teachers series. To read the first post go to How to….. and part3 .

Editing essentials: You’re going to find these in every audio editor. If you’ve never worked with audio editing before, you should use learn how to use these first.

Add a new track: Open a new audio session or mix your audio with sound and music. /”Track” or “File-import” tabs.

Fade in/out: To avoid starting and finishing the audio abruptly, use the fade in/fade out features.

Cut: Remove the parts you don’t need. /”Edit” tab.

Insert silence: You can insert silence at cuts or at parts where you want to add music later. /”Generate” tab.

Compressor: One of the most important features is to level out differences in volume. /”Effect” tab.

Save track: If you just want to save the Audacity project to work on it later, use the “Save Project As”. /”File” tab.

Export audio: To export the finished audio go to “Export audio” at “File”.

In my next post, I’ll talk about where to find background music and other sounds for your audio lesson.