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Monday, August 17, 2015

Showtime in the Classroom: Seven Ways Streaming Video Can Enhance Teaching by Brett Spencer

Brett Spencer, assistant professor and a reference librarian at the Thun Library at Penn State Berks writes, "Many faculty seek to make creative use of films in their teaching, whether in traditional class screenings or through flipped classrooms."

Photo: Faculty Focus

However, there are many obstacles to teaching with videos: the costs and constraints of DVD as a technology; limited DVD collections at some libraries; time involved in creating videos for one’s own classes; the popularized, questionable nature of many videos found on YouTube; the lack of institutional subscriptions to mainstream streaming services; and copyright concerns. Fortunately, in recent years, most campus libraries have subscribed to copyright-licensed and academically oriented streaming video collections such as Kanopy, NBC Learn, Films on Demand, PBS Video Collection, and Swank’s Digital Campus. These “Netflix” of academia offer fantastic functionalities and curated content designed with pedagogy in mind.

Here are seven specific ways that library streaming services can enliven traditional teaching with videos, support film projects that you might already be assigning, and make new types of learning experiences possible for your students.

1. Link to customized segments while teaching.
We have all had the frustrating experience of trying to show specific film segments to a class by fast-forwarding and rewinding back and forth through a whole DVD to find the segments. Today, most library streaming databases offer “create a clip” or “custom segment” features that allow us to select our own segments from a video, embed links to those segments on presentation slides, and jump directly to those segments while teaching. You can even mix and match clips from several different videos about the same controversial topic, like the death penalty, in order to expose students to multiple perspectives and spark debates.
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Source: Faculty Focus

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