E-learning with web 2.0


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- ► category - Vodcasts, like podcasts, can be used in a web 1.0 manner for information transmission, or they can be used in a web 2.0 manner where students create their own vodcasts. Vodcasts are traditionally associated with e-learning rather than m-learning, but with the explosion of video viewing on mobile devices, especially those with 4G connectivity, vodcasts may be on their way to becoming a key m-learning technology. Common videosharing services are typically available in mobile app versions (see Going Mobile below).

- ► what - Vodcasts are much like podcasts except that they involve video rather than (just) audio. Like podcasts, they are distributed on the web via syndicated feeds such as RSS, so once you've subscribed, you'll be prompted to download new episodes as they become available. However, as with podcasting, there has been considerable slippage in the use of the term: it has become common to hear people refer to any online videos, whether syndicated or not, as vodcasts.

- ► why - Option 1 Vodcasts can be used in a web 1.0 manner, with students simply watching videos which are either professionally produced, or prerecorded by their teachers. Students may be asked to watch such videos in their own time before class as part of a flipped classroom approach. Although vodcasts lack the flexibility of podcasts since it is necessary to watch as well as listen to them, it is becoming increasingly common for users to watch vodcasts on mobile devices (see Going Mobile below).

Option 2 Vodcasts can be used in a more web 2.0 manner, with students being asked to create their own videos. Vodcasts are often used as a platform for digital storytelling, and can be used to showcase both individual and collaborative student projects. Once the resulting vodcasts have been fully edited and polished up, they can be published on the web for feedback from peers, parents and friends, and the wider internet.

- ► how - Option 1 Vodcasts can be found on numerous sites, including many which have an educational orientation, such as the Khan Academy, TED, and WatchKnowLearn. Services like YouTube allow the creation of playlists, many of which may be educational (see for example the image of the Web 2.0 Tools and Technologies playlist at the top of this page). For a fuller list of sources of vodcasts, see the videosharing section of the social sharing page on this wiki.

Option 2 Producing a vodcast typically involves several steps:

  • recording a video using a video camera, regular digital camera, or mobile phone
  • editing the video on a computer using common software such as iMovie (on a Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (on a PC). Alternative video editing software is listed on the E-tools page of this wiki.
  • uploading the video to a service such as those listed under videosharing on the social sharing page of this wiki

- ► going mobile - With video consumption exploding on 4G-enabled smart devices, vodcasting is increasingly a mobile tool. The major videosharing services, like Blip, Vimeo and YouTube, are available in mobile app versions. What's more, the cameras on contemporary mobile phones and tablets can be used to record vodcasts. With the help of appropriate apps, these devices - especially tablets - can then be used to edit and polish up vodcasts ready for subsequent publishing and sharing.

- ► examples - Many sources of professionally produced videos can be found on the social sharing page of this wiki. In addition, more and more TV stations are beginning to make broadcast material available at any time for users to catch up on; examples include the ABC's iView (Australia), Channel 4's 4oD (UK), or CNN's Video (USA). The line between television, video and vodcasting is starting to blur.

Good examples of teacher-produced vodcasts can be seen on Mr Derby's 12 Literature 3A/3B Class Blog, which supports a flipped classroom approach. Good examples of student-produced vodcasts can be accessed through ACMI's Generator (Australia) or HKIS's DragonMedia (Hong Kong).

- ► variations - Variations which are useful if you don't want to show your face, or don't want students to show their faces, include services like Voki or Blabberize, where animated characters 'speak' audio files on your behalf. For educational tips, see the Voki for Education Blog. Other similar tools can be found under animations on the E-tools page of this wiki. Apps with similar functionality include Tellagami.

GoAnimate and Muvizu allow the creation of animated videos. Machinima movies, which can be easily produced by teachers or students in virtual worlds or gaming environments, also hold considerable potential.

Knowmia is a service which makes it easy to create educational videos. VideoScribe is a service for making animated whiteboard videos in the style of the well-known RSA Animate whiteboard videos.

TED-Ed, launched by TED in 2012, offers customisable lessons built around videos, and allows educators to create their own lessons built around any YouTube video. EduCanon is another service teachers can use to add information or quiz 'bulbs' to videos. Zaption and EDpuzzle are services for adding interactive quiz questions into videos.

- ► dangers - If students show their faces or reveal their identities in vodcasts, it may be advisable to share them only in password-protected online spaces. Where students plan on sharing their work more widely, animation services such as those listed above under Variations may provide suitable alternatives to traditional video footage.



Credits: The Web 2.0 Tools and Technologies playlist image comes from YouTube. I owe the Mr Derby blog link to Paula Beck, the Tellagami link to Paul Forster, and the VideoScribe link to Adrian Smith & Olivia Cassar.

Contact: There's no such thing as a finished wiki. Like all wikis, this one is a work in progress and there will be changes from time to time in organisation, content and links. However, don't let that stop you from contacting me at any time with comments, suggestions or questions.