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.

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.

How to quickly edit audio for online lessons I.

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One of the difficulties that teachers face in the online platform is that while it’s easier to share ideas and materials it’s harder to produce them in quality and in the time frame that is available. Most teachers are not sound designers or engineers and only consume music and audio and before online and distant learning became prevalent they rarely had needed to produce their own audio learning materials. With podcasts and Youtube being popular sources of audio as well, it had been less likely that one would have wanted to record their own audio for a lesson.

However, the pandemic slightly changed the landscape for that issue as well. More and more teachers feel the need to tailor materials they can find on the internet to their own teaching and to their students’ needs or to pre-record audio learning materials. In the following posts, I’ll give you a few tips on how to start quickly producing and editing your own audio, and these tips are aimed at novices and those with little or no experience in sound editing.

Equipment: Any relatively good quality microphones are OK. Since you’re mostly going to record talking and not singing you don’t really need top-notch studio microphones.

Space: It’s more important to record in a quiet space. Make sure you keep the microphone away from the computer as it can record the humming coming from it. Always record speaking and music/background separately.

Volume: Speak (more) loudly and articulate. Things you think can be heard just fine will most likely turn out too quiet. Try to talk like you would be talking in a big auditorium or theatre hall. Try to talk evenly and don’t suddenly shout or laugh loudly as it is going to be hard for the listener to adjust the volume when they happen on a recording. Later during editing, you should use the compressor feature to level out any differences in volume.

Software: The easiest and cheapest is to use Audacity, a free and open source audio editor and recorder. It has only a short learning curve and it has tons of add-ons and support that come with it.

In my next post, I’ll explain what editing steps you should take to produce an audio lesson. and where to find background music for your lessons here.

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