In this post, I’m sharing and reflecting as I test out some new technologies as I embed them in teaching and learning. I’ll share instructions, prompts, tutorials, and reflections here on this blog. As always, I’m sharing to help others as they consider using these digital texts and tools in their classroom. I’m teaching (and learning) in the open. I also want my students to be a “healthy, reflective practitioner” in their work…and hopefully my reflections will help hammer that home. 🙂
The first new tool I’ll test out this semester is Vialogues. Vialogues is an attempt to connect dialogue with video to scaffold learners as they collaborate online. This tool is one of the focal projects from the great team at EdLab. To read a more in-depth preview of this tool and the effect on learner engagement, please check out this brief.
Put simply, Vialogues allows you to embed a video within a chat feature. You can upload your own videos, or embed YouTube, or Vimeo clips. You can create a vialogue and make it public or private. You can add polls, or scaffold in comments and questions you want students to consider as they watch the clip. For a great overview, watch this clip from Jenny Luca.
Why am I using this tool?
I frequently use video in my class to support student learning. I also create (and have students create) and share videos to document work process and product. I believe this helps students comprehend by providing another mode of information. Of course my major concern is that students aren’t completing the video…if they watch it at all.
For more on this, watch this clip from Gustavo Reis.
I’m also using Vialogues after some commentary in class from one of my students. After I shared a long clip (a little under an hour) for discussions in the first week of class, she indicated that she doesn’t really learn that way. It would be better to assign a shorter clip, or break the longer clip down into a series of shorter clips. My usage of Vialogues is an attempt to build in the online discussion feature into the viewing of the video. I’ll also try and find segmented clips of longer videos and share those out.
How I’m using Vialogues
To get started using the tool, you’ll need to create an EdLab account. EdLab is situated at Teachers College, Columbia University. They’re asking for your affiliation and a password to create an account. I haven’t received any spam as I’ve used the tool up to this point. I also trust the work from many of my friends at Teachers College, and have no concerns about creating an account to use the tool.
Once you’re logged in, you can review the other vialogues available on the site. I created a vialogue to enable our Development of Langauge and Literacy class to discuss the second video from the PBS Secret Life of the Brain series titled The Child’s Brain: Syllable from Sound. To go directly to the vialogue I created for my students, please click here.
Please note that my students are learning in the open along with me. In class we’ll discuss challenges and opportunities as they create and modify their digital footprint.
Once you’re logged in, and you visit the vilalogue you want to comment on, click play to start watching. When you want to comment, enter your comment in the text entry field below the video and click post.You can delete or edit your comment by clicking on the red circled X, or the pencil icon on your prompt. To respond to the comment shared by another, click on the red arrow icon on their post and share your comment.Once again, Vialogues is a free tool that can be used to scaffold dialogue around online video. As we use the tool in class, I’ll continue to post reflections here. If you’re using the tool, please share your experiences in the comments below.
Cover photo by pedrosek http://flickr.com/photos/pedrosek/16844437580 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license