Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nyquist, Knowledge Transfer and Screencasting

I began successfully using voice and screen capture over 10 years ago. At the time, we were doing experiments in alternative learning methods. Since that time, I've successfully used Camtasia for many projects.

My most effective use of screen video capture was rapidly creating online training material. In the high-tech boom, recruiting and getting new team team members productive became priority one. Since we couldn't hire people fast enough, we added up to four co-op students per semester as well.

How do you successfully bloat a knowledge-dependent team without being crushed by your own weight? It boils down to leveraging the Nyquist theorem and applying it to the disciplines of knowledge transfer.

The theorem states:
When sampling a band-limited signal the sampling frequency must be greater than twice the input signal bandwidth in order to be able to reconstruct the original perfectly from the sampled version.
My application of this principle:
To effectively transfer knowledge, the capturing mechanism needs to be efficient enough to record information at twice the rate of changing information need.
The learners are eager and have bandwidth. The experts are bottle-necked, critical suppliers of enabling information. The constraint is the supply, the real-time capture of information, and not on the absorption efficiency of the learner.

To achieve the Nyquist phenomenon, you must be able to record on-the-fly, avoid any spit and polish, and value content over presentation. It's fascinating to see similar concepts spilling over into the blogosphere in the form of Screencasting.

I've decided to join the fray by using the freely distributed Microsoft Media Encoder to capture short clip on using Google Reader with this blog. You can view the unedited raw results here.

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