You may have noticed two new names appearing on recent articles, Christina Hamlett and Ric Viers. Both Christina and Ric bring years of experience in their respective fields.
"People who are citizens in an information age have got to learn how to be journalists."
- Kathy Kiely, USA Today reporter
The 24-hour news cycle and the explosion of sources continuously available online gives today's students access to unprecedented amounts of information. Yet they are also confronted with the daunting task of determining the reliability of myriad purveyors of "news." And surveys show many of them are increasingly uninterested in information with a civic purpose.
Over the last several months, we have received increased email traffic regarding curriculum, lesson plans, student activities and projects that our readers can use to stimulate the interest and creativity of their students.
I'm sure many of you have recently completed your video yearbooks. By now, most everyone knows about video yearbooks or at least may know them by some other name.
A video yearbook is a video made from photos, images or video footage that documents the past school year with faces, images and episodes that will make the memories last forever. The best part is that with today's technology, the videos can easily be saved and shared. And, with a simple keyword search or query for your video title, the video is viewable for years to come.
This method can be a great cost-saver compared to burning, duplicating and distributing DVD's to students and parents. As a solution, publishing the video to the web or to a social network is a great way to share the video and post comments.
There are of course many networks out there from which to choose, but let's use one of the most popular social networks as an example - FaceBook at www.facebook.com.
Uploading your video to FaceBook.
Go to your FaceBook profile page and click the video tab on the menu bar.
Click on File Upload, and use the file browser to locate your video on your computer.
Set your privacy level.
Here, you can select those you wish to have access to your video yearbook.
If you select customize, this allows you to exclude those you wish to omit from viewing.
When you see the "upload successful" prompt, click "save info" and your video is ready for viewing.
Knowing that many students may not be "Friends" with their teachers or fellow students on FaceBook or other network, you may wish to set up one that is education-safe where teachers and classmates can virtually gather on common ground.
Soundzabound has recently started a free education-safe network at
Feel free to use this as a virtual area for you and your students to share the video where you can also send messages, photos, comments and more.
First, go to Soundzabound Backstage at http://soundzaboundbackstage.collectivex.com.
Then, create a profile and invite your students or classmates.
Follow these steps to upload your video to Soundzabound Backstage.
Copy the video code from your source.
Under your Soundzabound Backstage profile, click on Customize My Profile, Add a Profile Element, HTML Source, and paste your code to the blank field and click Add Section.
Your video is now posted and ready to share.
Another great place to share your videos in a virtual, education-safe environment is at www.schooltube.com. The service is free, and all content is screened for education.
The video code from SchoolTube may also be used to embed your video yearbook into FaceBook or at Soundzabound Backstage.
Before posting your video to the Internet or to some other social network, keep in mind that unless you have a release signed by the students, or, from all the parents of the students in the video who are minors, then you should not publish the video for public viewing.
And lastly, be absolutely sure that your are the sole owner of all the content including images, footage and music, or, that the appropriate permissions have been granted in writing for copyrighted material you do not own - especially before publishing to the web.
Feel free to be creative and use these ideas for your wikis and other 2.0 areas you have created that accommodate video, and ALWAYS make at least one DVD or archive your video in a safe, non-web based location. You know, just in case...!
Barry S. Britt is an ASCAP member, music licensor, digital copyright instructor and is co-founder and executive producer of Soundzabound Royalty Free Music in Atlanta, GA.
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