Monday, April 30, 2007

Tech Fiesta 2007 & Copyright/Fair Use Info

We had a great time at Tech Fiesta 2007 in San Antonio, TX. The folks at Region 20 Educational Service Center were so hospitable. Special thanks to Harriet Jackson for helping us with exhibit questions, and welcome to all new TeacherTube community members from the Region 20 area. Also, thanks to Don Hawkins of ESC 20 for taking an interest in our TeacherTube vision, and to Miguel Guhlin for inviting us to be a part of a podcast on his blog Around the Corner.

While at the conference, I had the opportunity to talk with Luann Tomkinson, a sales representative and consultant with SoundzAbound. We discussed teachers using music in their video production. She reminded me about copyright issues and fair use and how educators should be aware of copyright regulations when making their videos. There is much mis-information out there regarding educational use of copyrighted material and what is known as “fair use” of such material. The US Copyright office informs us that “fair use” is not a law but a “doctrine.” There are, however, guidelines, which have been developed by the Conference on Fair Use (available on the University of Texas website). “Fair Use” has implications for instructional materials produced by students and teachers for classroom use, and web 2.0 technologies have created implications for “broadcasting” of such materials. At TeacherTube, we encourage members to follow copyright laws and fair use guidelines. (See our Copyright Tips page.) When using music, look for royalty free music for educators’ use – but be careful to check the licensing of any purchased product as some royalty free music still requires documentation in any material produced.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Word about Student Product Videos and Support Files

First, let me say thank you to Mrs. Burk, The Rappin Math Teacher, for attaching her rap lyrics as support files to go along with her great videos. Now more kids than ever will be rappin about math and really remembering the facts and formulas! To access support files, look to the right of the video and right click on the file name and Save Target As to download; or you can click directly on the file name and it should open in a browser window.

The support files feature is a great tool for sharing the how and why of our videos. We encourage teachers to upload student product examples to the Student Products channel and to attach supporting files to help other teachers implement this or a similar project. We hope the Student Products channel will not become just a repository for online availability of students' work (TeacherTube has another product for that coming out later this year) but that it would evolve into a way for teachers to peer into each others' classrooms, see evidences of learning, and begin to incorporate some of these successful ideas into their own classrooms. Student Product videos should still meet the two criteria for TeacherTube videos: helping teachers grow professionally in content knowledge and/or instructional strategies, and/or helping students learn a concept or skill. So members, please consider uploading accompanying files to help fellow teachers. Supporting documents might be instructions, learning standards, a student handout, an explanation, or a short paragraph (or podcast) of reflection on the implementation of the lessons leading to the student product.

If you haven't seen this wonderful claymation video added recently by member craigr, then check it out below. (Hoping craigr will upload a support document giving a beginners' claymation how-to.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Shaking it Up at Mulholland Middle School

TeacherTube welcomes new members from the San Antonio-Austin Area Geographic Educators (SAGE). We look forward to seeing your instructional videos in the community and want to hear how you are using TeacherTube videos in your classrooms.

Speaking of how members are using TeacherTube in the classroom, we were super-excited to see this documented in Bob Sipchen’s April 16th LA Times column School Me—Adventures in Education. In his article “If wired right, computers do belong in the classroom,” he describes integration of technology for teaching and learning going on in a classroom at Mulholland Middle School in Van Nuys:

When a good teacher and good technology get together, watch out.

Hillary Zana's sixth-grade social studies class seems like a case study. Her students had just watched an online video clip from about education in the age of globalization, and they were answering questions — online, for all to see and discuss — about technology's role in classrooms.

What Sipchen observed was students visiting Mrs. Zana's Class--A Place to Read and Write
to watch the Shake it Up video (posted to TeacherTube by bionicteaching) and then posting responses to open ended questions. Ms. Zana continued to question students’ posts,
stretching their thinking. The class ended up with a total of 43 posts for this discussion over 3 days! I wonder if they--students and teacher--would have written this much and put this much thought into the assignment if it was on paper. But the best part of such an activity is now other students and teachers can see their responses, watch the video, and join the conversation.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Another New Feature Added -- Upload Supporting Files

Yesterday, TeacherTube launched a new feature that allows members to upload supporting documents along with their videos. This feature is part of an effort to help teachers and learners make the most of the videos. Many of our users are classroom teachers who are seeking how to use the videos in the classroom for instruction or want to replicate a student project/product featured in a video. Now members can upload any type of file with associated content. Maybe it's a page of teacher notes, student and/or teacher directions, a handout for learners, a list of web resources, a quiz or list of questions for discussion. Maybe it's an audio lecture or notes. Whatever will help the viewer with classroom implementation will be appreciated. And to Mrs. Burk the Rappin' Math Teacher -- members want copies of the lyrics to your awesome math raps! So please add them as supporting documents.

Here's how to add supporting files:
  • Log in and upload your video. (If you want to add supporting files to videos you have previously uploaded, just follow the rest of these directions.)
  • Then click on any video. On the right side under the description, tags, and download features, you'll see Support Files.
  • Click "My Support Files" and you'll be taken to your "My Videos" page.
  • Scroll to the video for which you want to add files.
  • Here you'll see a link to Add/Edit Support Files, and when you click it, you get this screen:

  • Here you can browse for your files and then click Upload Supporting Files at the bottom of the page. Your supporting files will then appear on the right side of the video player for users to download.

The site will continue to evolve as we get feedback from members. Please let us know what you think of the new features and other features you see a need for.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Download TeacherTube Videos & Upload Flash Files

Today TeacherTube launched a new feature that allows users to download videos from the site. TeacherTube community members can now save a TeacherTube video to his or her computer and not have to worry about band width issues, connection speed, or buffering. It's important to know that the Terms of Use state: "TeacherTube provides the ability to download videos to your computer for personal or classroom educational use only, provided you give a link back to TeacherTube in any presentation, website, or other form of media in which the downloaded video is included."
The new feature is available just below the Channels designation to the right of the video player. Simply click on the video name and choose Save. The video will be downloaded as a Flash file, which makes the download much faster. If you need to convert the file to another format for playing on your computer, try out one of the easy to use online converters such as Zamzar or Vixy or Media-Converter.
Also, in an effort to make the site more friendly to all educational video creators, today TeacherTube enabled the site to accept uploaded Flash video files.
TeacherTube is currently working on other New Features to help make the site more useful to its community members. Please check the blog frequently as all new features and updates will be announced here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

To Make us Think...

TeacherTube members have shared some really thought provoking videos.

One makes us face our "Technology Fear Factor." (Coolcatteacher's video is about to go over 10,000 views!)

While another addresses the fear and answers the question "Why Teach Technology?"

One asks "Did You Know?" to remind us of the implications of globalization.

And another encourages us to "Shake It Up" in light of these world changes.

These are the kinds of videos that shine a light on topics we as educators should be thinking about and having conversation about. I love how the videos themselves are part of the conversation -- both prompts and responses. These videos will shape our beliefs about teaching and learning, and hopefully they will spur us to action.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Comments Feature Updated

TeacherTube community members may have noticed an issue with the video comments feature. At one time each member was limited to just one comment per video. But thanks to Adam, that limitation is now gone! Yea! Members can enter multiple comments for any video now. We hope this will facilitate more two-way communication about the videos--that collegial commentary that helps us learn and improve. And if you don't want your comment posted publicly for all to see under the video, members can click the reply button to reply privately to a specific comment. We continue to encourage community members to give constructive feedback to fellow members via the comments feature and the messaging feature.