Online Video as PD and Other Ideas for Learning

February 3, 2008 at 11:29 am (video)

At his blog 2 Cents Worth, David Warlick pointed me to Be Very Afraid, a conference in London Picadilly showcasing the work of students of all ages. 

There are thirteen videos online in the archives of the second conference where students and their teachers talk about their project work science-fair style – from how to do claymation, parts of speech raps, the Cademy at Notschool, and the Garageband bass player to bringing a Space Station computer back on line after crashing using cell phones.  Students with unique needs are showcasing their school or designing their ideal classroom of the future

In the archives for Be Very Afraid 3, a student uses a palm pilot to keep up with his studies while performing in Mary Poppins.  Students write scripts and create their own video simulations of what it would be like to be in an air raid shelter.  

Students also create a virtual nature gallery of flowers and mini-beasts (bugs) using cell phones that automatically transfer their images to a computer for them.  An example of technology that transfers images and video from cell phone to computer is mojungle.  This YouTube video explains how mojungle works.   This reminded me of an article I read not long ago where bike couriers use GPS and cellphones to record air quality.  The use of cell phones to transmit video represents an example of amateur journalism that I wrote about in a previous post.  Soloman and Schrum (2007) in web 2.0 new tools, new schools calls it “citizen journalism.”   

According to Heppell, the technoloy itself is not frightening.  What’s frightening is how fast young people are adopting it – with or without their schools.  In the concluding or background video to BVA2, Heppell talks about how this technology is indicative of all students the world over.  I wonder about this.  I see it as up and coming but I know very few that are using the technology in the way the students demonstrated in the videos.

It’s exciting to visit the archives of BVA online for many reasons.  It’s a celebration of learning.  From that celebration, students can see what other students are doing and get more ideas of what they want to do.  Students can see how technology, such as cell phones and PDAs, can mesh with their learning at school.  Teachers can borrow or trade ideas for what new things they could try with technology.  Lastly, I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to attend this conference.  I’ve hitched a conference ride!  I’ve had so much fun at this one, I think I will look for another at Hitchhikr.

Web 2.0 (Videos/PPoints) “theme blog links to videos to help with the teaching and learning of web 2.0….”  I watched “The Social Web,” “Introduction to Social Bookmarking” in preparation for next week’s topic, “Launchtube‘s Channel,” “Web 2.0 in the News,” “School 1.0 vs. School 2.0” and “Red/Write Web.”  As mentioned by Valenza in A Modest Manifesto, whether it is Web 2.0 (Videos/PPoints) or videos in TeacherTube, there are many opportunities to “seek professional development that will help you grow even if you cannot get professional development for that growth.”  And many of the PowerPoints are examples of the reforms suggested by Valenza.  

Over the course of my exploration of video online, I kept coming across the video titled Frozen: Grand Central Station.  I finally decided to watch it today when I saw it at adbusters, originally hosted on vimeo, another option for video sharing.  Over 200 people are briefed at Bryant Park in New York City then stand frozen in Grand Central Station for, what others believe to be, an uncomfortably long time.  I would love to ask students what they think about this!

In thinking about video over the course of the week, I remembered someone had sent me Dove Evolution.  It shows the transformation of a model before and after the makeup and hair is done.  This would be a another good one to talk about with students and what’s real and what’s not in fashion and print media. 

Reuters News Video has many of the stories that we see on TV everyday available online including the serious, the humorous and ones that we wouldn’t otherwise see in North America.  This would be a great question for students – why do we see some stories but not others?  I often wish that I could tape stories and bring them in to discuss.  This way they are just a click away. is another video option with its 18 million hours of video.  On the About page it claims to be “the world’s most advanced video search engine.”  I learned about Blinkx at Springfield Township High School Virtual Library’s Streaming Video Resources page.  From it you can access the Moving Image Archives, Electronic Field Trips Webisodes, Research Channel Video Library and many other websites that incorporate video. 

Rhonda pointed me in the direction of Springfield Township’s blog of streamed media, a link off of Valenza’s Springfield Township High School Virtual Library page, which has fabulous examples of student produced video.  At Valenza’s informationfluency wiki, there are links to 10 “reformed” PowerPoint presentations (warning: very large files).  It was there that I found these iCan videos, created by the San Fernando Education Technology Team (SFETT), which I thought were fabulous for so many different reasons.  Flickschool, a blog linked off of SFETT, provides tips and tricks about software as well as information about film literacy such as point of view; wide, medium and closeup shots; and low, high and eye level anglesThis video in particular made me think of the critical mass required for, what Malcolm Gladwell calls, the Tipping Point.  This idea also made me think about young people who are “nonconformists…on the cutting edge of social networking, with online behaviors and skills that indicate leadership among peers” as described in the National School Boards Association Creating & Connecting//Research and Guidelines on Online Social — and Educational — Networking (pdf)

With so many online video options available, the possibilities really are limitless. 



  1. Val said,

    Hi Arlene:
    Great ideas from Be Afraid. Lot’s to work with there. I need you to guide me through uploading personal videos onto YouTube. I can’t tell you how many hours and attempts I tried at uploading video. My husband finally said to me today, perhaps its because our videorecorder is so old its analogue and the video need to be converted to digital. I plan to borrow my friends digital camera this week and see if that’s the answer. I too worry about copyright. I was thinking of playing Diana Krall’s Departure Bay song over one of my slide shows (that happened to show case Departure Bay). FYI – Diana grew up in Nanaimo and still has a home here, thus the song was written about her memories at DB beach. I thought, I don’t think I can do that, even if I own the CD, because it would then be considered public broadcasting. My hubby, who works in the music industry said Of course you can’t Val. I still need to learn more on copyright and copyleft.

    Your blog inspires me both visually and its contents.

  2. arllennium said,

    Hi Val, I hear your frustration.

    When I tried to post a video onto my blog the first few times it didn’t work for me either. Pasting the embed code directly into my message didn’t work and instead of pasting the URL in the add link to video I was pasting the embed code! Different problem then yours though.

    I had some video that I had taken with a digital camera saved on my hard drive. After creating a YouTube account, I just filled in a title and the other details that it asked for and clicked upload at the bottom of the page. I didn’t use the other options on the right hand sidebar as my video wasn’t that large. It took a while for the video to upload but not that long (maybe 5 minutes? I’m on high speed “lite.”) because the video isn’t very long. When this was happening I didn’t think it was doing anything as there is no “ticker” or other such tool to indicate that something is happenening. When I tried to view it too soon, it told me that it was still being converted. The converstion took about 5 minutes as well.

    Persistence usually pays off but when it doens’t, I usually try alternate measures. I’m optimistic you’ll have better luck with a digital camera.

    Let me know what happens, Arlene

  3. Ronda said,

    Hi Arlene,

    The videos on BVA are wonderful examples of how videosharing can become a form of PD for teachers. There are some amazing ideas.

    Thanks for sharing what you found!

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