Friday, 20 July 2007

Week 9 - Podcasts, Video & Downloadable Audio

  1. Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos

Within the past year online video hosting sites have exploded allowing users to easily to upload and share videos on the web. Among all the web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently top dog serving up over 1 million viewers a day and allowing users not only to upload their own video content easily, but also embed clips into their own sites easily.

Do some searching around YouTube yourself and see what the site has to offer. You'll find everything from 1970s TV commercials and 60s music videos to library dominos and kids singing about bloopers here. Of course, like any free site you’ll also find a lot stuff not worth watching too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has to offer. :)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog.
  2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or components of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?

OPTIONAL: Try placing the video inside your blog using the copy and paste code for the for "Embeddable Player.” Note: you'll need to use Blogger's Edit HTML tab when pasting this code.

Other popular video hosting sites:

  1. Discover some useful search tools for locating podcasts.

The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.

In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last 24 months, it's easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries (like the ones used in this Learning 2.0 program) to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Netvibes account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.
  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Netvibes account
  3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?

  1. Take a look at some of the various sites with free content available.

With your new MP3 player right around the corner, it’s time to take a look at audiobooks. There are some free audiobooks available for download from also freedigitalcontent or iTunes has some good free downloads.

  1. For this discovery exercise, you merely need to familiarise yourself a bit with the structure of the above sites. Get an idea of the types of titles you can find here. Take a look around and locate a few titles of interest. That MP3 player is right around the corner and once you have it, you’ll definitely have a reason to try out these popular services.

  1. Summarise your thoughts about this programme on your blog.

Congratulations!! You’ve reached the 23rd thing. Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for completing the programme. Your reward for completing this journey is a useful and handy MP3. But before you receive this, I ask for one last blog post.

For your last and final exercise for this program please reflect on your learning journey and post a few thoughts. Here are some questions to prompt you if you're drawing a blank ...

  • What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
  • How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
  • Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

And last but not least…

  • If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey. My greatest hope is that this not the end of our learning journey together as a staff, but rather it’s just the start of something amazing

Thank you, Donna

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