Ideal Platform for eLearning
I thought it would be useful to share a little experimental journey with you through an example of the work of our BlackpoolCIC organisation, and the on-blackpool.tv channel which sits within the organisation. People have asked my business partner and I how we make it pay. Make it pay? That’s easy, but the return is all about people finding it useful, not profit in cash terms. Let me expand on this.
Any ICT users worth their salt knows that creating and producing video is time consuming, bandwidth and storage hogging, and fraught (in a public sense) with traps for the unwary. It need not be though. This is where our expertise and experience comes into play……
When we initially set up OBTV, as we call it, we wanted a simple vehicle that would provide a platform for Community, Educational and Business focused content (video) and audio. We had the willingness to put in some hard work and we were willing to learn. Neither of us is a media industry expert, but Steve knows the business end of things, me the Educational and Community aspects - and yes, my time with Apple was also very helpful. As an Apple Distinguished Educator today I produce a number of resources and sit with over 6.5k resources personally built up over the last few years. More on that to come (for my associates and customers).
The way to get things started is easy to do - you just get on with the task in hand.
Mediacore uploader is a dream to use
(courtesy of MediaCore web site)
I started by looking at commercial video platforms (the delivery mechanisms if you like. I started experimenting with YouTube and Vimeo, and while these are popular and quite versatile, we needed more than JUST video content to be brought to our ( let me call it - channel ) channel. I also came across Livestream and a couple of other similar products - with the promise of developments to come. What intrigued me about Livestream was embodied in its title - LIVE streaming. Image LIVE broadcasting! I think ambition got the better of me at that point, because as it happens, we have never yet seen a need for a live content broadcast. That said, we adopted Livestream as it was incredibly versatile, however it let us down on one important part - its output to mobile devices was Flash based, making it less than ideal for the most popular mobile content devices on the planet (iPhones and iPads). We waited for the platform to advance, and decided not to promote OBTV until such time as a new (promised) version appeared. It also cost us far more than we were happy to pay at that point. That said, it was rock solid and did what it claimed well. The SEO and reporting was very impressive.
Throughout this phase of our development, the YouTube channel remained in place.
Earlier this year, in part by chance, I spotted that an acquaintance of mine had taken a new role working for a media based organisation (I’d never heard of before) MediaCore. Naturally I took a look and found that MediaCore was a company new to the marketplace, with a passion for Small Businesses. It was seriously getting involved in Education. This had to be good. Naturally I got in touch with ex-colleague and coworker Alan Greenberg to discuss the options.
What was clear from day one was the commitment to Education (something we strongly wanted at the core of OBTV), but it was also the promise to listen to ideas, to discuss future plans and to cooperate with us here at on-blackpool.tv.
MediaCore Capture iOS Only (courtesy of MediaCore web site)
Why Mediacore then?
We wanted more than just video delivery. on-blackpool.tv functions as a linking hub to a number of current and possible future projects we deliver/hope to deliver, and so while it had to work well (it does), it had to be:
- easy to navigate
- . be available on any web connected platform.
- simple to upload to (it is a contributory platform you see)
- It had to allow Podcasts to be hosted
- there had to be a way of carrying supporting materials (pdfs, slideshows, documents etc)
- very importantly - it also had to have granular controls for permissions and publication.
- we had to be able to upload content from an iPhone
Mediacore’s Platform fulfils, or will soon fulfil all of these requirements perfectly. It offers a range of ways to get content in, and frankly offers the most uniquely versatile balance between simplicity and power you could want.
Better by bulk? (courtesy of MediaCore web site)
We are using the platform to pull content from YouTube at the moment, but that will change in the near future. The great advantage for schools is the fact that you can control access very easily and create a really powerful video based resource rapidly.
If you want to hear more - please feel free to contact me. There is plenty to say.
I’ll post a few comments at a later date about how the Mediacore solution delivers for us. In the meantime - Education, schools, colleges, training providers, small businesses - in fact anyone. We can now offer comprehensive introductions to this class leading product.
iPad (gen 3) and video capture
I don’t know exactly why this is, but until now I have held the iPad’s capabilities as a very versatile tablet in great respect. What I have never really bothered about was its capabilities as a video capture source. Of course, the iPad 2 could capture images and video, but it always seemed to me that this facility was more for just occasional use than for use in any really specific way.
My attitude has changed. I was recently with Blackpool 6th Form College, and in discussion there it was suggested that iPads be used to film content for www.on-blackpool.tv, our streaming channel. I stalled (thinking that if we needed to, it might have to suffice) but then I started looking at the evidence on the web of videos being produced on the iPad generation 3. I was stunned.
Here are some examples. You tell me these aren’t just stunning.
Make your own mind up…… but while the iPad 2 is a perfectly respectable device, if you are seeking to use an iPad as a first or even second video device, then it has to be 3.
Free Atomic Learning Resources
I’ve long promoted the quality resources from Atomic Learning. Blackpool residents had full access to these as part of the “I-CAN” programme for three years. Alas now individuals and groups need to sign up themselves. Or talk to ME?In the USA it is National Disability Awareness Month, ending November 30th. Atomic (bless them) have released
“Accessibility: It IS Important”
an online workshop series that walks users through the basics of accessibility (albeit to US standards - it is still very useful) . It begins by covering the reasoning behind creating accessible materials in addition to (US) legal issues. Participants taking advantage of this workshop will also see examples of what accessible materials look like and learn about the individuals who benefit from them the most. Finally, common tools that individuals with disabilities may use to access materials will be discussed along with tips on what you can do to make sure your materials are accessible.
In honor of National Disability Awareness month, Atomic Learning offers this workshop free to all educators through November 30, 2011.
Request information and pricing on all of Atomic Learning’s training solutions
Go on, what is stopping you?