Wednesday, January 4, 2012

For Your (and their) Viewing Pleasure: Video Resources

Adding video content can certainly be a useful tool for any class and can be an important bridge of engagement to make material more dynamic.

Video can be done in a lot of ways.  Tech-savvy faculty most likely have a webcam, digital camera, or even their own cellphone to which they can record material and upload it to their own YouTube Channel or to the course in any manner they propose.  We also welcome faculty to work with us and media services to create video material for the online class.  However, here, I'm going to cover 3 awesome video resources for you to consider for your online course.

1.  Films On Demand
The Good:  FilmsOnDemand "is the leading source of high-quality video and multimedia for academic, vocational and life-skills content."  Here, faculty can find an excellent array of videos that they can use for their course either as required or supplemental material.  They cover topics from Anthropology to World Languages to Archival Material to Biology to Criminal Justice and more.  It's a video database that our library has in its collection and has been a great boon to many faculty in their teaching.

The Bad You'll need to remind students of the following (from the NSCC Library's Website):
"In order to access some library resources off campus you must have a library activated NSCC ID. The fourteen digit number on the bottom of your ID is your library card number. Enter in this number when accessing databases off-campus."

Also, you'll need to make use of the proxy server link in order for this to work right.   For more information on integrating videos directly into ANGEL, check out the Library resource here.

The REALLY GOOD: What's great about this tool is that if you make an account with Films On Demand, you can do some really great things with playlists.  Playlists allow for you to compose a particular selection of videos that you feel go well together.  For instance, you could assemble a playlist of documentaries and archival films from World War II or bring together the different documentaries and dramatic renderings of the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

However, FilmsOnDemand takes it one step further.  Every video on the site has been broken down into smaller snippets and you can also make playlists just using these snippets.  If you think of the full video as a music CD, you can use it entirely, OR you can select specific tracks from each video to make your own mixed tape (remember mixed tapes?).

2.  YouTube
The Good A vast array of material for you to use and bring something into the classroom that students are already familiar with.  Additionally, many schools have been putting up lecturers and presentations on a variety of college-level material.  YouTube EDU is chockfull of great lectures that you can incorporate for better learning and understanding.

The Bad:  Well, it's Youtube; filled with many many many distractions (we've all been there).  That's the obvious challenge.  YouTube now also features much more ads than previously.  Additionally, not all videos are stable and may change or disappear entirely.  The other challenge is that there are complications since YouTube is owned by Google, but doesn't come with the suite of services that NSCC gets by using Google for its email server services.  What this means is that you can't syncrhonize your YouTube account and North Shore Gmail account.  Maintaining two accounts isn't necessarily a problem for you, the instructor, but it can create a barrier (and just be frustrating) for students.  (Though this is largely a problem when you are sending them to YouTube, not when you are incorporating a YouTube video into ANGEL).

The REALLY GOOD:  Like FilmsOnDemand, you can assemble playlists for students to watch and send them one link (instead of a list of links); however, you cannot break the videos down into segments (anymore than they already are on the site) as you can with FilmsOnDemand.  The other great piece about using YouTube videos is that you can encourage and stimulate conversation since each video comes with its own discussion board.  The conversation will not only be with other students but anyone else who happens to come upon the video.
Here's an example of what you can find from YouTube.

The Good: serves as  the internet archive of all things in the public domain.  Books, recordings, videos, etc.  The site has an enormous collection of material and in particular, videos from the 20th and 21st century.  It's a great resource much like the above in that you can find great material to integrate into your course.

The Bad:  Unlike the previous two, you cannot make a playlist.

The REALLY GOOD: Unlike the other two sites, anything on this website is available for download.  YouTube and FilmsOnDemand do not allow you to download the videos; but most videos on can be downloaded in a variety of digital formats.
Here's an example of what you can find at

  • What are some of the ways you use video in your course? 

  • What do you find beneficial about them? 

  • What resources do you rely upon when you look to integrate video into your course?

Let's use hear your thoughts and ideas on the subject!