Having video in your Powerpoint presentations can offer pedagogical benefits as well as adding visual interest. Since all first-year lectures will be videoconferenced between the St. George and the Mississauga campuses, care must be taken to ensure that students at both sites will see your carefully selected videos.
When you lecture, your Powerpoint presentation will be played on the Teaching Station computer, not on the computer that it was created on. Although in the past we have allowed lecturers to present from their own laptop, this is no longer possible. A few simple steps taken during the creation or editing of your Powerpoint will ensure that any video you include in your presentation will play on the Teaching Station computer and be visible to the remote audience.
Contrary to some of the language used in support documentation for Powerpoint 2007 and 2003, videos are not embedded into a presentation, but are only linked. This link can be to your local computer or it can be to an external website, such as YouTube. If the video link is to a website, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Problems can arise, however, when the Powerpoint file is moved from your computer to the presentation computer. If the Powerpoint contains a link to a video that resides on your computer, it won’t play after the presentation is moved unless you also move the video file with the Powerpoint file.
Videos are encoded at the source with codecs. Codecs are devices or programs that encode or decode digital signals; in order that a relatively large file such as a video can easily be copied, moved, or viewed, it is necessary to compress it before it is uploaded, and then decompress it for viewing. Unfortunately, there exists an ever-increasing number of incompatible codecs; if a video plays on your computer but then you copy the video to another computer, the second computer may not have the same codec and therefore, will not play the video. There are literally thousands of these codecs currently in use, and every computer cannot have all of them.
Codecs can also contain encryption information that prevents videos from being copied or rerecorded and many also prevent them from being shown via videoconference. Blu Ray discs are an example of media that cannot be videoconferenced because of encryption.
One of the requirements this year is to submit your presentation 10 business days before your lecture takes place. If you have any videos linked in your presentation, ensure that these are also submitted in a folder with the presentation file.
Technicians will test your presentation, including videoconferencing it with the associated media files on the presentation computer in the lecture room in which you will be lecturing. If there are problems with a video, every effort will be made to re-encode the files to make it playable; we will contact you if there are serious problems with a file and will work with you to find a solution.
Your Powerpoint and videos should be collected into one folder before being submitted. To collect your elements, do the following:
If you're unsure of where the linked video files are on your computer, you may need to search for them.
Using Windows Search or Mac Spotlight, search by keyword, date, or extension. Some common video extensions are .mov, .m4v, .avi, .mkv, .mpeg, .mpg, wmv. Once you locate them, you can copy and paste or drag them to the folder.
In Powerpoint 2010, videos can be embedded and files will remain linked if you move the Powerpoint and play it on another machine that has Powerpoint 2010. However, they may not play if you present in an earler version of Powerpoint.