Saturday, September 23, 2006

Killer App for Education?

I listen to (or watch) a variety of podcasts. One of the hosts/pannelists, John C. Dvorak, in a couple of the podcasts I listen to mentioned something that got me thinking this week. Dvorak talked about the ease of use of digital still cameras being able to take short videos and then upload them to the web through YouTube. I've tried this before and it works quite well. You upload the video in any form you want and YouTube does all the converting for you (you just have to wait a while for it to be available). You can embed your video right in a web page or blog with ease. Dvorak feels this will be a killer app and I have to agree.

The video from my digital still camera is not as good as from my mini-dv camera, but it is far easier to deal with. With my mini-dv camera I have to capture the video to my computer before I can edit it. Which means I have to plug the camera in, find the part of the video I want, and basically record it in real time to the computer. If all I want is a short video clip this is not very time efficient. With my still camera, all I need to do is plug the camera in (or pull the memory card and put it in my card reader) and copy over the file I want.

I can film a short demo in class and upload it to YouTube in just a few minutes and the video should be available to watch by the time my students get home. The more I think about this the more excited I get about the possibilities. I will definitely be playing with this over the next few weeks to see how useful it is.

I will probably also upload my videos to ourmedia at the same time. This is for two reasons. The first is that the videos on ourmedia are not compressed like they are on YouTube so are higher quality. The second is that everyone keeps talking about how much money YouTube spends to support all the videos but no one knows how long YouTube can afford to keep doing it.

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2 comments:

Ian said...

Great idea! It's way easier to get those little mpegs from the camera to the computer than by using an actual camcorder.

I started brainstorming some ways to use this idea in an elementary classroom. What a great record of students' abilities in oral language.

Steve Dickie said...

Thanks, although I did steal the basic idea from Dvorak.

I'm planning on putting a lot more of my demos and labs on YouTube. This should make it easier for students to study for tests and quizes. Notes are great, but being able to see the demo again is even better.