Trying to make up snow days? (Five days of missed classes since January 23!) Instead of trying to create recordings for the missed days, consider finding appropriate resources using some of the “mashup” tools in Blackboard, YouTube, Lynda Learning, Atomic Learning, Slideshare, Flickr, and VoiceThread. You may even have content in some of these repositories that you want to reuse or repurpose.
Mashup options in Blackboard content creation tools.
YouTube, for example, has a number good channels that can provide appropriate video content for your courses. Check out the Periodic Table of Videos for an example of engaging chemistry video content. Of course YouTube has a lot of junk as well. One advantage of using the Blackboard mashup is that it embeds the video in the Blackboard interface rather than redirecting students to the YouTube website decreasing the likelihood that students will be distracted by the amusing pet videos or or “related” but possibly inaccurate videos. You, the instructor, can also frame the context for the video content to describe how the content fits into the course and builds on other concepts already learned.
Two mashup tools of particular note are Lynda.com and Atomic Learning. Both companies provide video tutorials on a number of topics. Of particular interest are their tutorials on software products that are loaded on Wentworth laptops. If your disciplines use specialized software why not leverage the resources available by linking to this content in Blackboard and use your time to create content that is unique to your course?
VoiceThread is an interactive presentation tool that allows you to incorporate images, video and audio into a linear presentation that students can comment on directly in the presentation. If you’ve used this tool, you may already have some good content that you can repurpose.
Other sources of video content that you can leverage by linking to the websites. (Create an external link to direct students to these resources):
iTunes U - Use the iTunes app, scroll to the bottom of the opening screen and select iTunesU from the list at the bottom. (To download: http://www.apple.com/itunes/)
Open Courseware - Google “Open Courseware” for a list of institutions that have content available (http://www.oeconsortium.org/ has a search tool allowing you to search across institutions). Open Courseware is more than video content, often courses have no videos, but includes other resources that may be useful in rounding out an online class session.
Ted Talks – There are over 1900 talks that range from very short (less than 6 minutes) to longer videos (over 18 minutes). All are engaging presentations on a variety of topics (including engineering, computers, alternative energy, architecture, biomechanics, physics, math, and economics).
Additional activities: Once you’ve found some engaging and appropriate content, pair that content with some activities. Have students discuss a video with classmates on a discussion board. Assign a problem set for students to work based on topics covered in the video. Create a quiz to test understanding and provide feedback on what they can do to address areas on misconception. Have students identify muddiest points in each video and create your own video to address those points or discuss those in a face-to-face class.