Using Streaming Video As Prewriting

I did a session this week for faculty about using video as a pre-writing activity. I'm starting to think of video - especially when it is segmented into clips about specific things - as very similar to using readings.

I know that students who are given a choice of viewing two 10 minute video clips on Shakespeare's language or reading about 20 minutes about it will more often choose the videos. I also know that many instructors are uncomfortable with equating doing that reading with viewing the videos.

I also know that you will encounter some of the problems and benefits no matter which one you assign. Let's say that I want my students to read or watch background materials before a class. I want to start the class with a discussion about those materials. The students who did the reading and those who watched the videos will both be bale to contribute to the discussion. Those who did not read or view will not be able to add much to the discussion. Not a big difference.

As a quick sample, I created on-the-fly a playlist of three videos that I could use to have students get some background for a discussion on how today's English shows the influences of the past. This first video I found on YouTube is a discussion of a Spanish/English connection which might be of additional interest to our PCCC Hispanic students.  "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection" from the University of California runs 28:10 minutes. This documentary covers key relationships between the two theater traditions of Spain and England, including materials from performances in New Mexico and California.

"Debate Over a Pure English" is from the larger The Story of English.  I selected a 4 minute clip titled "The Inkhorn Controversy" which refers to a debate among English scholars over whether the English language should eliminate Latin and Greek words and return to its Anglo-Saxon roots. It is from our Films On Demand subscription collection (which is why I can't link to the actual video here). The feature I like with the service is that I can bookmark clips from a longer video and give students a link to it.

A longer video is an episode from the Charlie Rose program called "Shakespeare in Literature and Film" (PBS -57:47)  It's great that is available freely on Google Video, but I can't "bookmark" or excerpt the video. At best, I could provide a time reference for students and they could fast-forward to it.

Here are some resources I suggested that are freely available. The advantages in using these are that there is no subscription, no username/password required, and, in some cases, they can be embedded into a webpage. The disadvantages are that you cannot bookmark or excerpt them, and there is no guarantee that the video will still be available online in the future.

These sources are "educational"

1.   at MIT
2.  at the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs
3. an online community of teachers sharing instructional videos The videos range over the entire K-20 levels.
4. NJVid is a very new project that is now collecting both commercial video and content produced by NJ colleges and groups for streaming distribution. PCCC is a beta site for 2009. A sample title already there is "Newark : the slow road back,"  a 58 minute film made 20 years after the 1967 riots that is in the Government, Politics, Law section of the collection.
5. Many universities have their own YouTube channels, such as the University of California on YouTube and other groups such as Internet2 offer video for the higher ed community - The Research Channel

Here are a few sources that offer good "serious" video:

2.   TED Talks

I would also recommend these "commercial" (but free) video sites. Yes, there is a lot of entertainment programming here (All work and no play...) but there is also g=good news, talk and documentary content.

5. has Jersey-centric video that might be useful to those of us here in NJ.
6. "cable channels" such as The History Channel offer much of their content online
7. and other networks offer many of their shows online. For example, I could see a teacher using segments (and they are segmented) from a program like CBS' 60 Minutes.


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