Several new systems are available to campus users this semester. Ensemble Video is just one of them and, among other things, it offers a great service to anyone who has juggled DVDs in the classroom. With Ensemble, you can easily stream video clips for class viewing via Blackboard, WordPress, or other web site.
One of my favorite features is the dropbox. Setting up a dropbox generates a link you can share with students or department members for easy uploading to your media library. Dropbox users click the link for an easy-to-follow webpage that walks them through the upload process—users never actually have to log in to Ensemble.
Ensemble handles other types of media as well, including audio and image files. Contact me if you would like to know more about the service or if you would like a media library set up for you or your department.
The New Media Consortium has released the 2011 Horizon Report, and this year it is accompanied by a new beta website called the “Horizon Project Navigator.” For those unfamiliar with the report, it is produced annually as part of the Horizon Project and focuses on newer technologies most likely to have an impact on higher education within the next 1-5 years. While the report seeks to highlight the advisory board’s research and discussion process, the Project Navigator adds further depth to this information in several ways.
The Library page links readers to an extensive list of articles, blog posts, news reports and other media related to topics examined in the report as well as other topics of interest. The Projects page links to more information and resources about specific projects involving colleges, universities and associated business partners. Examples include SNAPP (Social Networks Adapting Pedagogical Practice), Arduino (electronics prototyping platform), “Portal” Project (game-based learning), WolfWalk (augmented reality), and a host of others. The Examples page highlights additional projects that are highly relevant to specific disciplines. The Media page links to images, slideshows, and video representative of a wide variety of technologies. Click the topic to see all the media for that group, or double-click individual thumbnails to watch a video or to view more information about an image. All of the videos I’ve checked to date are available on YouTube or Vimeo and have links to the original source. You can access the embed code for adding to Blackboard, blogs or other platforms, or choose from a list of social network sharing options. Most (if not all) of the images are Flickr-based and carry some type of Creative Commons licensing, meaning they can be shared or reused (with attribution) in most cases.
I highly recommend a visit to the new site—with a caveat. Don’t check it out right before a class or any appointment you may have. You might not get there. There’s a lot to see, read, and consider. And if that’s not enough you can also check out the blog posts by Alan Levine (New Media Consortium CTO).
(iPad photo from InTech image library.)