Today’s New York Times has a piece about the future of video, particularly as it applies to what we see on our ‘second screens’ like laptops, tablets, and smartphones (TV being the first screen).
The article – ‘Video Content at the Beginning of the Future’ – caught my eye because last night I had a revelatory experience involving the use of educational video that led me to this conclusion:
StreamlineSC as it currently exists is not fit for the future of video.
Here’s how I got there: Two teachers recently asked me about an issue when they tried to include StreamlineSC video in an Edmodo assignment. They were working on a smart plan: embed an educational video that requires students to reflect on what they’d seen and respond to a question or prompt.
YouTube video works beautifully in Edmodo. Or Khan Academy video tutorials. I could even embed an episode of Downton Abbey from the PBS site in an Edmodo lesson. Just click Share > Embed and copy/paste the code snippet into an Edmodo assignment panel and voilà - slick stuff.
So video that is free and embeddable in a course management system like Edmodo makes wonderful instructional technology. Students can log into Edmodo, read the assignment, watch the video, and submit their responses for grading all within the same browser window at the same site.
Not so with the Discovery Education video in South Carolina’s StreamlineSC system. That video can be streamed, and downloaded as a .wmv or .mov file, but no embedding allowed. So a teacher would have to link to the video, and students would then have to login to the StreamlineSC site to view it.
I suppose you could download the .wmv or .mov video and bake and shake it and perhaps make it work in a video player plugin, but who wants to deal with that?
The StreamlineSC system made a lot of sense when it went online back in the day, but I’m afraid it is not long for the future.
The NYT article called this the ‘beginning of the future’ of video – I submit it’s really the end of the beginning of the future, and free, open, and therefore embeddable content should become the ‘present’ of educational video asap.
You didn’t break my heart, StreamlineSC, and I don’t want to put you to sleep with the fishes, but walled off content that is not portable just doesn’t cut it anymore.