Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Video: Tag, you're it

I came across the veotag tool thanks to a post from Ewan on a meeting for East Lothian Glow mentors. In particular, he posted some videos of Don Ledingham (Head of Education for East Lothian Council, Scotland, UK) talking about East Lothian's policies. The videos are worth watching in their own right. Don says some good stuff in an interesting and accessible way. For example, I particularly liked his comment in Glow Mentors - Reversing Hierarchy for Mutual Benefit, that there no models of good practice. He said:
"You can have two teachers in adjacent rooms, teaching completely different ways and they can both be outstanding!"
Brilliiant! However, it is the veotag system that I think makes these videos really interesting. This system allows you to add chapter markers to your video and audio files. You can create a table of contents or a menu for your audio. Click on the chapter heading and jump directly to that part of the video. If that wasn't enough, you can also add tags and text to the different sections of video, so you can add notes or a transcript. It is very easy to use. I had a go with my Mentos video (see Back garden experiment for an explanation) and it was almost unbelievably simple to set up.

I think the educational potential for this is huge. Firstly, it makes video material much more accessible. For example, providing a transcript for people with hearing difficulties in this way is probably a lot easier than adding subtitles. Secondly, getting pupils to tag videos would be a great way to get them to interact with material rather than just passively watching or listening to it. Also, adding the tags and texts makes the content accessible to search engines.

Combining veotagging with Creative Archive material (currently offline during a consultation period) or other educational video and sound clips, perhaps from SCRAN or Teachers' TV, could be very exciting. I wonder if organisations like this would even start distributing pre-tagged material?

Finally, on a more or less unrelated matter, Derek Robertson brought a site called SingShot to my attention. It's essentially karaoke for the YouTube generation! Record yourself singing, rate others, leave comments - create a community of singers online. Brilliant! (Note Derek has just moved Hot Milky Drink to a new home.)

Why not listen to me murder a classic from the Monkees, rate me and leave a comment. Before you do however, can I say in my defence that my karaoke favourite, I'm a Believer, wasn't available and I had to record my singing with a cheapo webcam microphone. I may have a go later today with a better microphone... you have been warned.



Remember to rate Derek's efforts too. My favourite is his rendition of Word Up - especially the screaming at the end. :-)


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