Tag Archives: digital storytelling

Creating multimedia mashups with myBrainshark

I learned about myBrainshark from a colleague. With free and not-so free versions, myBrainshark is a versatile multimedia presentation tool.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

There are many platforms for narrating slides; however, myBrainshark is different and more powerful because it allows you to easily create  media “mashups.”

After registering to myBrainshark, you start by selecting “upload content.”

You can upload

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Web pages (via urls)
  • Documents
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Podcasts (e.g., mp3 files)
  • Any combination of the above in a single presentation

Voice  narration can be added via:

  • The telephone
  • Microphone audio
  • An uploaded mp3 recording

You also can also link attachments to any individual slide.

You have many editing options once you upload content.

These are pretty self-explanatory, but ones I’d like to point out are the options relating to animations and adding interactivity.

A particularly nice feature of myBrainshark is the ability to preserve animations in PowerPoint. However, you’ll need to set timings, either in your PowerPoint presentation before you upload or as you edit your myBrainshark presentation. Star icons identify slides which include animations. Clicking on the star displays the following screen.

The window will tell you the number of animations and the slide duration (which you can modify). If your animations operate on-click in your PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to set timings here as I did, requiring my animations to appear at 1 second, 3 seconds, and five seconds after the slide appears. The other way to set animation appearance is as you record audio, so that the animations appear at precise moments during your script.

You can find more specific information about working with animations here.

You can add interactivity to your myBrainshark presentation in the form of polls, surveys, and multiple choice questions or true/false questions. You can even add a background image. Just select the “Add a question” option.

More general information about using myBrainshark is provided in this video.

You can find more presentation tips from myBrainshark here

Instructional strategies

Some of the uses of myBrainshark include:

  • Narrating PowerPoint presentations
  • Narrating documents
  • Uploading videos or screencasts
  • Producing podcasts

As noted previously, a big value-add to myBrainshark is the ability to create multimedia mashups. In additional to presentations, myBrainshark allows you to create:

  • Digital stories
  • Narrated portfolios
  • eLearning content

Although the free version of myBrainshark is quite feature-rich, the non-free versions provide even more options. For example, the enterprise version of myBrainshark (Brainshark Presentations™) offers the ability to create branching questions, invite guest speakers, and has many more tracking features.

The differences between the different myBrainshark platforms are described here.