Thursday, July 06, 2006

Diverse -day 2 notes

Virtual Cutter tool
The big note to take away is the Virtual Cutter tool that I went to a demo of at lunch time. This has been around a while though it is now Open Source. The developer, Andre Rosendaal, is looking for collaborators in taking the Virtual Cutter further. The technologies are PHP and some javascript.
More info and access to the Virtual Cutter can be found at
I took to the Virtual Cutter because it may allow us to take the media object ideas and apply them to streaming video. With Podcasting/Vodcasting you're dealing with downloadable media. Now Joe Public can deliver (or source) streams and select 'In' and 'Out' points - in other words select chunks of media, but without needing the source or knowing how to edit it. The media can be embedded into Word docs, Powerpoint, Web pages, VLEs, or wherever you want it (as long as you maintaion an internet connection) using the simply copy and paste code.
Users As Producers
Keith Radley from SHU presented on the work he has been doing with Mike Bramhall and his Engineering students. He described the workshops and methods he has used to engage the students in the process of making video - a rich learning process.
Diverse seems to split into two camps: the AV technical people who view innovation more in terms of technical stuff, and the academics and educational support people. Now this second category do not necessarily have that different a take on innovation and I have found that surprising, but where we are seeing innovation beyond the technical is in the user as producer, especially whether it facilitates the learning itself and there have been one or two examples of this, including a community orientated project this morning.
Media Interventions and Innovation
Now I've said that I better be clear about the innovation in what I presented. There are several areas (technical, design approaches, user as producers, etc), but the main innovative point I have been trying to develop is to leave video as a didactic medium behind. It's just so obvious, so passive. But video DOES have an amazing role in blended learning and that is to inspre curiosity, inspire dialogue and to spark glimmers of understanding and questions, which can then be worked upon. Using very short clips (designed to engage) is what it's all about! So, there you have it!


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