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App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

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May 21, 2008 8:23 AM

User-Generated Video in Education at Streaming Media East

I've been attending Streaming Media East in the Big Apple, and yesterday sat in on a session about user-generated video in education led by the venerable Paul Riismandel, fellow StreamingMedia.com contributor and video guru at Northwestern University.

First I learned about the University of Toledo through the words of their tech coordinator Gary Powell. His comments focused on the use of video in their school of education, where a federal grant afforded them the opportunity to purchase videoconferencing units to be used to facilitate remote observations of student teachers as they taught classes, saving professors the need to physically be in the classroom.

Once they established this program they realized that since they're sending live video it'd be easy enough to record it, so they developed an e-portfolio initiative where students could take video of them teaching and combine it with lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, or other related media. This has proven especially effective as the teachers license you earn in Ohio is valid in 48 states, so e-portfolios provide a way for prospective teachers to more easily reach a broader array of schools with a high impact application for employment.

And further showing what's possible through broadband, they’re also working on creating LCOT, or a Learning Community of Teachers, which is a program that provides an online support group, network, and information resource to teachers who have recently graduated. Its purpose is to reduce the high churn of half of all teachers leaving the professional within 5 years of graduating by giving them somewhere to turn when they have questions or need to vent frustrations.

We also heard from BigThink.com, a site where they’ve been interviewing hundreds of experts in fields ranging from metaphysical explorations of death to specific discussions of certain health conditions. Anyone can add their own comments to a discussion or start their own idea threads, with the intent of facilitating intellectual conversations and discovery through an online video platform.

In the education world, universities have started requesting their own branded pages where they can both link to BigThink content and add talks from their own faculty, and students have been using it as a research tool as they can get video and transcripts from some of the leading minds in the world to help flesh out or sparks ideas for papers.

The final presenter was from Magnify.net. He put forth the idea that universities should be curators of the videos that relate to their respective institutions. What Magnify.net allows them to do is create their own pages and then use their search engine to retrieve videos from across the web that are related to them. These include everything from advertising put out by the college's communications department, to student films, to any video that's tagged with the name of that particular institution.

In this way alumni can be kept in the loop as to what's happening at their alma mater, high school kids deciding where to go can see what life is like on campus from many different angles, and this tool can even be used to conduct research about a particular institution. Here's an example of this model in action with Skidmore College.

This was a fantastic discussion to attend, with some interesting new ideas presented that help further highlight the potential impact of broadband and online video in education.


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