When it comes to video, my mind wanders to Canada’s MuchMusic channel which revolutionized the way we listen to/view our favorite music bands. In 2010, we see the major influence that video has embedded in our culture, in our schools and in the children that we teach and learn with daily. This blog is a list (partial – at best) of the many video resources that one can use to engage, motivate and challenge students.
- Oxelon media converter is a free video converter and audio converter. It supports many formats and codecs. Must download software.
- There are a few ways to download YouTube videos. Use TubeLeecher, even KeepVid or KickYouTube and you will be on your way. Once you find a video you like, its worth keeping it either on your own YouTube account or offline.
- Zamzar is free, online and easy to use. The converted file is sent to your email. Will convert up to 100mb.
These are exciting times when classrooms, experts and special guests that are great distances apart can connect with each other. Once you have your software and hardware in place it would be pertinent to:
1) Do a test chat in advance to get any audio/video kinks ironed out.
2) Have a teacher host the event.
3) Go through with the class the video conference expectations (no extra noise, take turns in talking at a microphone, wait for responses….). Check out VCRLN’s support documents that speak towards Etiquette and Procedures.
4) Above all, have fun!
- Alberta VCRLN supports SuperNet and VC enabled learning across Alberta. You can join their listserv to learn about exciting VC opportunities. They sponsor cyberBridges, VC events, VC café, Point2Point learning and cyberProjects. Check out their website and they have some wonderful Showcase days where they connect to a variety of Museums and Experts from around the world. Great opportunities for teachers and students.
- Flashmeeting is an online meeting application. Used with a webcam, the internet and a computer. Meetings are prebooked and a URL is sent out to participants. Can try out a demo. Used in the UK. Unsure if there is a cost after the trial period.
- Google Talk is easy to install and use. Must have a gmail account. Free account that allows one-to-one or small group discussions. Video and audio are as clear as the quality of your webcam.
- Elluminate is web conferencing software where you can have up to three different sites on at the same time free. If you would like more capabilities there is a cost to this service. It is used throughout Alberta and the education world. Not only does it show video, but allows for chat, responses from the audience, sharing of documents, powerpoints and video clips. They do have a free 30-day trial.
- Skype allows voice and video calls to anyone else who has Skype loaded on their computer. It was made famous by Oprah and requires the user to download its software and create an account. Classes can Skype an Author, Skype Other Classrooms or check out 50 Ways to use Skype in the Classroom and here for more ideas.
- SuperNet was built to connect schools, colleges, universities, libraries, hospitals and city facilities to a high-speed internet, video conferencing, etc. set of services. SuperNet allows schools with video conferencing equipment to have quality video and audio sessions.
- Twitcam – stream live on twitter and chat with your viewers via Twitter at the same time! Must have a twitter account which is free.
- Video Out on a Lim is a site maintained by Janine Lim a distance learning coordinator. She has a lot of great ideas, information and resources.
With the advent of the internet, streaming video has taken a giant leap (and a big chunk of bandwidth) but is still a worthwhile venture for the classroom. Before showcasing a video, please ensure that you have all the correct “plug-ins” such as QuickTime or Windows Media Player to run the video clip. Larger files will also require buffering time so run the video first to load it (if possible). As well, wireless streaming works but its best if you have access to a direct Ethernet cable connection to the internet.
- Blip.tv focuses mainly on web-shows. Any can have a blip.tv account to upload their video, but its service is mainly designed for people who make original web shows.. Many companies such as AOL, MSN, iTunes, Sony, TiVo, NBC, Roku and Yahoo allow blip.tv episodes to be downloaded. Wes Fryer does a great job of demonstrating his lecturecasts on blip.tv (and his other tools) to his Spring 2010 class.
- CBC Digital Archives houses many Canadian programs from economy to war. It also has a For Teachers section for grades 6-12 and is available free of charge.
- COSN (Consortium for School Networking) has an eduvision TV spot with interviews, discussions and topics related to advancing K-12 technology leadership.
- ERLC (Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium) has a Distributed Professional Learning Wiki that has archived webinars and PD resources.
- LearnAlberta has great video streaming resources especially in the area of Social Studies, but other content is available too. Alberta teachers and students have access to this site with automatic sign in at their schools. Teachers can also set up their own personal account (highly recommended) where they can hold items in folders on their workspace. (You can even share these with fellow teachers!)
- Discovery Education offers many video clips, virtual labs, interactive, audio files, lesson plans, worksheets, assessment, and PD. It is also building a larger Alberta curriculum-based set of resources. There is a trial version available and the cost thereafter is about $3 per student in your school
- TeacherTube is an online video clip website where the focus is mainly on specific educational content areas.
- TeachersTV is based out of the UK and has some great educational subject area videos.
- Ustream is a host website where you can broadcast video LIVE from a computer or cell phone. Offers the ability to share special school events, teacher P.D. or student performances online. One can also access conferences, TV shows, sports, entertainment and even music.
- WatchKnow is collecting all the best free educational videos made for children, and making them findable and watchable on one website.
- YouTube is THE place to find video clips nowadays, but it does take time to sift through all of that video. As well, there are still some school divisions that block this site (see converters at the beginning of this blog).
Various tools are available for teachers/students to use for learning, classroom projects and tutorials. The following list provides links to specific tools that I have seen our teachers use in the district. There have been no payments made from the vendors to me
I hope that this information gives you an opportunity to start looking at video in a different manner, or try out a new resource or pass on this information to another colleague. Feel free to share your experiences using video in your classroom or school.
Comments are always welcome!