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Adobe Voice: An iPad App for Making Screencasts

Adobe VoiceAdobe Voice is a free iPad app for making screencasts. 

Adobe Voice is an ideal tool if you want to make a screencast that only has images, text, and voice narration (you can't capture screen motion with Adobe Voice, nor can you import video clips). 

The features of Adobe Voice are intentionally limited: the look and feel of your screencast is restricted to 32 templates that you can modify only slightly. While this might seem like a drawback, it actually means that it's impossible to create a bad-looking screencast with Adobe Voice. Limited choice also means that you can make a screencast quickly: you don't need to spend a lot of time making decisions about colours, fonts, and so on. 

When making a screencast with Adobe Voice, you can use your own images (such as photos or JPGs of PowerPoint slides), or you can have Adobe Voice search millions of Creative Commons images in Flickr and Pixabay.  

Two features of Adobe Voice in particular have the potential to enhance learning over other screencasting tools:

  1. Ambient music. Adobe Voice has 44 choices of ambient music built into it. Recent studies have shown that listening to certain kinds of ambient music (classical or Zen-like) during a learning experience can enhance cognition, creativity, and learning.1,2,3,4
  2. Ken Burns effect. Adobe Voice features the Ken Burns effect: it subtly “animates” images by slowly panning around and zooming in. Studies show that during a presentation such movement can enhance attention.5

Here's an example of a screencast (about the history of Mennonites) made with Adobe Voice. This screencast is about three minutes long, and took about 25 minutes to create (it would have taken much longer to create the same screencast with Camtasia). 

To appreciate the effect of ambient music, you might also be interested in seeing the same screencast with non-ambient music (that is, with music that includes lyrics) and the same screencast with no music

Best Practices

  • Use Adobe Voice to create brief screencasts that introduce or summarize material.
  • Use Adobe Voice to turn PowerPoint presentations into screencasts.
  • Use Adobe Voice to create screencasts that appeal to the affective domain -- that is, for content that elicits an emotional response.
  • Have students use Adobe Voice as an alternative to in-class presentations.
Resources
 

References

  1. Dosseville, F. (2012). Music during lectures: Will students learn better?. Learning and Individual Differences22(2), 258-262.
  2. Schellenberg, E. G. (2007). Exposure to music and cognitive performance. Psychology of Music35(1), 5-19.
  3. Kiger, D. M. (1989). Effects of music information load on a reading comprehension task. Perceptual  & Motor Skills69(2), 531-534.
  4. Cockerton, T. (1997). Cognitive test performance and background music. Perceptual and Motor Skills85(3f), 1435-1438.
  5. Clark, J. (2008). PowerPoint and pedagogy: Maintaining student interest in university lectures. College teaching56(1), 39-44.

teaching tipThis Creative Commons license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and indicate if changes were made. Use this citation format: Adobe Voice: An iPad App for Making Screencasts. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.

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