Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome to the 2011 Reboot Institute: Teaching with Digital Media

Blogs are one of the ways we'll "think cloud"* rather than fixed media.

This video welcomes you to the Reboot Institute, and tells you a little about the summer ahead. It also is an example of how you can easily capture video with your laptop (learn from my example: angle the camera a little better!), pop it up on youtube, and embed it in your blog. It could easily be any kind of video, screen capture, or an animation. The idea is to think of the blog as a container, of the web as a platform, that holds your media and learning objects, and as long as you or your students can access the web, you have access to the material.

A blog like this one is one of the most flexible ways to gather digital media--images, audio, video, links, text--to use in teaching. You can upload images and video of up to 100 MB, or link to embed links to youtube, vimeo, or other media. You can even embed powerpoint presentations if you've uploaded them to Here is the powerpoint that I am showing this blog in at the kick-off dinner (is this the new media version of mise-en-abyme?)

A blog can be a forum for discussion and communication. You can remain the sole author of the blog, or add your students as authors. It can be public and seen by anyone on the internet, or be set up so it can only be seen by certain people. Comments can be open, or moderated, or turned off.

You can post daily announcements or notes for class quickly. I use a class blog in a variety of ways that I'll model during this Institute--in lieu of a powerpoint or keynote presentation (or in conjuction with one on slideshare) to contain visual, textual, and hyperlink learning objects to use in class. Or as a way for students to post questions and thoughts before class, to spark discussion. Or for them to share their projects with the class. An example of a blog post I used to teach from in class, and then my students had as a reference is from my Digital Narrative Theory & Practice course. Sometimes my only post is a short comment or question that could start a student thinking about what we were going to talk about in the next class, and sometimes the post is really the lecture/discussion outline. Some have powerpoint presentations embedded in them from If you look at the blog as a whole, you can see how the students shared work there as well as posting some cool things they found.
It is also a flexible form in which to work--you can post from anywhere you have access to the web.

* There is a thought-provoking article in The Atlantic, "Are Our Lives Vanishing into the Cloud?" Let's read it before next week's workshop.



    Good article on using twitter in the classroom, commenting in real time.

  2. Slink is a cool program for accessing your home iTunes library at Berklee :)