Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

What would a course look like if it happened through YouTube?  Pizer College Media Studies professor Alex Juhasz did just that. She recorded all the class sessions and fed them to YouTube. In addition, all the assignments were either YouTube comments or videos.

Despite the “YouTubiness” of the course, it’s more than just a course about YouTube. It’s an exploration of how people learn (she calls it “amateur-led pedagogy”) and what difference a medium makes.

Also, don’t miss Henry Jenkins interview with Juhasz (Part A, Part B).


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Non, je ne regrette rien

In an age of women who sing with little synthesized butterfly voices, I love to listen to the defiance in Edith Piaf’s voice. Look at those clenched fists. You go, girl!

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There are lots of tools that allow people to share videos and pictures (YouTube comes to mind), but we’re starting to see a new generation of services (maybe inspired by Joost) that bring a bit of interactivity to a static presentation.

VoiceThread and Viddler are two examples. These services let you or learners share presentations, interviews, projects, or demonstrations. The difference is once something is uploaded, others can annotate or add tags and comments to it. That turns a broadcast into a kind of conversation. (It’s also important to note that both services allow you to continue to own what you produce. Not all do.)

Here’s a VoiceThread presentation that gives you an idea of some of the possibilities.


There are some fun ways to use these services. Imagine the kinds of comments that Uncle Joe would leave on the video of your family camping trip, for instance. There may be ways to use this to support learning, too. They might give learners a way to share feedback on each others’ projects. They could ease collaboration. They could offer you or learners a way to teach others something new (like this one from Dean Shareski). Learners could then tag their muddiest point, ask questions or leave comments in the video. This can be a bit tricky. You’ll notice that some of the comments in this Viddler presentation are a bit silly. (Tadpole eyebrows?)

What do you think? How would you use this? More importantly, how do you think you’s use a tool like this to encourage meaningful learning instead of goofy graffiti?

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Not only do you make fantastic, lean instructional videos, but you’re helping make the planet a better place.

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Lawrence Lessig’s classic powerpoint on Free Culture and copyright is now up with sound on Slideshare.

Say it with me …

Creativity and innovation always build on the past.

The past always tries to control the creativity that builds on it.

Free societies enable the future by limiting the past.

Ours is less and less a free society.

If you haven’t seen this before, it’s a must.

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With the popularity of video sharing, narrated PowerPoints and screencasting, it’s becoming a lot easier for teachers & learners to create their own learning resources to share with others.  

However, how do you know your latest opus actually helps others learn?  Here are a few tips (based on Richard Mayer’s research) about creating effective multimedia:

  1. Narrating your movie or presentation helps people learn better … explain to people what they’re seeing
  2. Narration is more effective than text
  3. Explain while something is happening, not afterward
  4. Use a friendly voice, not a formal one
  5. Focus!  Take out any sounds, narration or video that isn’t important to the point you’re trying to make
  6. Give a “big picture” overview before you start saying what all the parts or components are
  7. Give people a sense of how your video or presentation is organized by signalling when you’re moving from one topic to the next
  8. Let your audience control the pace

Some of the best instructional videos I’ve seen lately — like Lee LeFever’s great Technology in Plain English series — follow these principles to the letter. 

How about you?  Anything you’d add?

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infinite thinking logoGoogle is investing a lot of its attention towards the educational market. I really like their blog for educators, Infinite Thinking. For a great example of how Google is supporting teachers to learn how to use their products, take a look at a recent post on using collaborative spreadsheets. (I’d embed the video but then you’d miss the rest of the post so go to the site and have a look.)

I like it because the information is practical and useful. More importantly, the video strikes a great balance in terms of giving you the information you need (here are some tips), engaging thinking (tell us what time it is by looking at the shadow), inviting participation (put your answers in the comments) and providing further resources for exploration (the show notes). Remember those educational videos that you had to sit through in Grade 7 science class? Boring. Google’s videos are fresh and invite you to take a number of different directions to find the information that will work best for you.

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