Sunday, March 17, 2013

Next Vista for Learning - 1000 videos by students and teachers, plus...

Next Vista for Learning is an excellent resource site with over 1000 student and teacher-created videos on a wide variety of topics. This site is run by our friend Rushton Hurley, a very well known and respected ed tech leader, and you should check it out. The site collects many of its videos via contests.

Teachers or students can use this site for several different purposes. The videos in the regular collections of are for a student audience, and highlight the creativity of students and teachers around the world. It's organized into three 'collections.' Light Bulbs introduces topics to students when they're 'ready to learn'; teachers can also benefit to see what videos done by others look like, or for lesson planning. Global Views helps students develop a sense of community as they view videos about places not 'here.' Seeing Service helps students and teachers learn about 'good deeds large and small' and help them realize that they, too, can do good deeds.

Next Vista run contests that students (and teachers) can enter - one called Creative Flight is underway now! From the site.... "Put a little creativity into a video teaching any concept one might encounter in elementary, middle, or high school, and keep it to 90 seconds or less. It can be about sculpture, negative numbers, supply and demand, alternative energy, adverbs, or anything else for which you have a clever insight."

There are actually 3 contests - one for students, one for teachers, and a team contest for a student and teacher together. Our school has entered some these contests, and they are lots of fun and an excellent learning experience for all. We were fortunate to win one contest, and the joy on the faces of the two students who participated and produced the winning entry was fabulous. You can see our videos on the Visit to Atria Senior Center, and another on St. Leo the Great School Turkey Drive. There are MANY more examples - as noted, over 1000!!!!

The contests, the number of (learning) videos on relevant and interesting topics, the focus on 'service' videos, and the sense of community all work together to make this a very important place to visit often.

CC Connection:  As I've noted before, "Digital Storytelling" - making and sharing videos or other multimedia in various forms - is one of the holy grails of integrating ed tech into the curriculum. It engages student's higher order thinking skills (analysis, creativity, etc.) and also places significant emphasis on 21st C. Learning Skills, too - Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking,  and Collaboration.

Further, from, these skills are called out as we develop our students:
  • They demonstrate independence.
  • They build strong content knowledge.
  • They respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.
  • They comprehend as well as critique.
  • They value evidence.
  • They use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  • They come to understand other perspectives and cultures. supports all of these, across the curriculum!

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