I normally start all of my blogs with an anecdote from my decade of teaching and this time I’m going to take you all the way back! Back to my early days when I was a headstrong newly qualified teacher that had aspirations to be inspirational, full of new and cutting edge ideas and naive to any of the politics around the job. The pressure to achieve results and improve particularly my classes’ writing levels meant I always spent a lot of time (far too much!) trying to think up new activities to address the issue. Being an English specialist and with aspirations to lead the subject, it became my own personal crusade. I felt if I could improve my classes’ fine motor skills, this, in turn, would hopefully improve the quality of writing produced. I used to have sleepless nights over why my tasks that had taken ages to prepare, were in tune with their interests and created with cool computer images were having no impact. I ran this past a more mature teacher who showed me quite a thick book from the mid-’70s / early ’80s that contained cutting activities. The book itself had seen a lot of action and initially, I was very dismissive, saying that kids nowadays would have little interest in something so dated. She asked me to try it for a week and lo and behold my class loved it! It had other benefits I hadn’t foreseen such as calming and improving behaviour, making them take pride and care in their work. The writing levels did improve but not for my innovations but from my repurposing of old material that had been successful previously and was still relevant to my current students.
I then probably broke numerous copyright laws and spent a couple of hours after school photocopying the whole book and actually learned quite a big lesson in respecting the input of others. This particular resource helped me throughout my career, in 3 different schools for years and when I started leading Early Years, the ideas behind the resources became a staple part in providing children with the building blocks to begin their writing journey on.
No need to reinvent the wheel
This probably seems a very convoluted way in which to start a blog post for a University but currently, I am working through moving old Ubicast videos over to Panopto. While this is a long-winded process (I have to download them and reupload them on an individual basis), watching some of the Learning and Teaching Conference videos from 4 years ago has made me realise that a lot of the pedagogic messages ring true today.
I won’t use the blog to explain how to upload videos to Panopto as it is all outlined on the relevant page of the Content Capture part of the Preparing for Teaching in a Blended Learning Context.
The process of uploading videos to Panopto is fairly straightforward and perhaps a key element of it is that on a video’s upload, it inherits all of the features of a newly created Panopto video. This includes Automatic Speech Recognition, which is essential for the video to adhere to modern accessibility standards. It is worth stating that it is dependent on the sound quality of the recording itself (particularly if it is an older video or one of a live event) and the captions will need to be reviewed, just as any should before the video is used publicly.
Also within Panopto, there is an ability to add clips from other Panopto videos and you could also take this one step further and splice multiple video clips together to make a whole new creation.
I have old videos, what’s the next step
We will be looking to automatically migrate videos from the University’s repository, Compass in advance of the next academic year, however, due to the scale of the operation (there are nearly 30,000 videos) and the complexity (not every video has a clear owner), it needs to be actioned after periods of activity such as the assessment period.
That does not mean you have to wait! If there is a video in the Compass repository that you feel would be immediately beneficial to your teaching, please contact eLearn@port.ac.uk with all of the relevant information as they have administrator access to both systems and would be able to assist with moving this content over. Equally, you may feel more comfortable talking to the faculty Online Course Developers local to you as their role is to assist with Moodle content and they may have some excellent advice regarding it.
Most importantly, really consider why you wish to use a video and what the learning intention is behind it. The TEL Training session Content Capture and Distance Learning will promote the idea of using shorter videos to efficiently get your message across and engage the viewer more. Just because it is possible to upload an old 4-hour conference video, does not necessarily mean that you should. However, what it can do is to provide a different focal point to affirm a concept or to address a misconception.