Digital Resources

I’m a little late today with the One Post a Day, but given I am on vacation and the month is winding down, writing has become a little more difficult for me. Today as I was bouncing through email and feeds I got a note that I had a friend request in Facebook … so I logged in and confirmed the request, but while I was there I looked through my personal News Feed. One of the videos that a friend commented on was from last night’s Democratic National Convention. I watched that and started to think about a couple of things that I thought I’d share.

The first is how irritated I am at the way our networks (cable and the big three) cover events. If you aren’t watching C-Span you don’t get to see what is really going on. Instead of just letting us see the speakers we have to endure hours of the pundits telling us what to think. Additionally, they have these ridiculous crawls going on at the bottom of the screen — and CNN, WTF with the VH1 style trivia bubbles? I don’t need it. So the video I was directed to out of FB just now took me to one of the speeches that wasn’t being openly covered on the network I was watching and it was great. I’m not sure of the legality of it (as the video I watched was posted by an individual and not the network itself), but having instant access to alternative points of view is a very interesting opportunity for teaching and learning. Surly the coverage of the DMC is quite different on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, FOX, and the others. It probably wouldn’t be too tough to instantly create a handful of tabs in the browser that shows network reactions to the exact same events taking place. It would also be interesting to see which ones actually let the event be broadcasted versus talking over what is happening. The online conversation could also prove interesting …

After watching the video I got a little bit of a youtube bug and bounced to the front page. I’m logged in under our own TLT account so I saw new videos from my friends. The first one was a piece actually produced here at WPSU about World War II and showing on the WPSU YouTube Channel. I love the oral history approach to building new understandings and these pieces are powerful stuff. This past year our FACAC survey showed us that youtube is one of the most popular and frequently used technologies to support teaching and learning. How great is it that we have rich (and ever expanding) access to locally produced content? I know we are looking to use our youtube space more effectively in the coming year and I know more and more faculty who are exploring youtube for good ideas. The video below was one that I thought could promote some very interesting conversations in a class setting …

Last week while at Mont Alto we had a discussion about youtube in the classroom after I showed the “Charlie Bit Me … Again” video. People thought it was funny, but that was about it. I then tried to share some thoughts as to why I found it more than funny. What I find striking about youtube is the community activity a good/funny/interesting video can promote. If you look at anything that is popular you see dozens, if not hundreds, of comments in the form of text and video that are done as reactions, story movers, or parodies of the original. The ability to use existing content and then use the content environment to promote and stimulate conversations seems like it could be a very interesting opportunity.

Why have students watch a video at youtube and then go into ANGEL (or somewhere else) to write a response? I’d like to find ways to have them use the environment to post a follow up video or comment to see what happens. I really like the idea that the space provides some layer of motivation for participation. Can that same environment be used to draw classes into conversations related to digital media? I think so, but would be curious what others think.

BTW, this isn’t limited to youtube … take a look at the affordances that an environment like Flickr has for conversations related to imagery.

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