Saturday, 9 May 2009

Re-viewing data in online environments

One of the issues that interests me is how rapid digital developments might change the way in which we use data and multimedia information in all its forms for educational purposes.

In the broader scheme of things there are fascinating developments taking place in the wider technological community that will, I believe, impact on how we can convey meaning and analysis to our students.

Here's a video example of a Microsoft developmental idea called Sea Dragon (thanks to Michael Rosenblum for mentioning it on his blog):

On a less practical yet interesting note for Media Teachers, here's a fun way to deconstruct YouTube videos into streaming film strips, that change every time a shot change is detected. 

Finally, I've written before about Wordle, the free online tool that creates Word Clouds. Now it's possible to extract key words by frequency. I was doing some training with the Religious Studies department at school a couple of weeks back, and my colleagues went crazy for this facility. They realised they could take passages from the Bible, or as one did, Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, and pull out the most commonly used words. It made for some fascinating results.

As one teacher pointed out, this is a great way for students to see easily, quickly, and visually how words are used to convey meaning, and indeed to see the essence of a text, by taking a reductionist and minimalist approach to it, and using that as a starting point for further discussion.

So, there are changes afoot and there are options available now that educators can use to make information dynamic and appealing to Net natives, as well as providing useful complements to traditional methods for encouraging independent thinking and reflection.


Rosenblum said...

Hey Sacha
Pretty interesting stuff.
nice blog

Sacha van Straten said...

Thanks Mike.

Always good to take a lead from the Master.

I'm hoping to bring some students out to NYNY in July of next year. Would be great to meet up on your patch, if you're around.