By Kim Cavanaugh
My partner in crime, and fellow Adobe Education Leader Lee Keller, have been working on a very cool project that blends the use of traditional broadcast video with the online capabilities of Adobe Acrobat Connect. Here’s a recap of our project and how we’re bringing these two worlds together.
When our school district purchased a super-size license for Macromedia Breeze two years ago we knew that one of the challenges we faced in spreading the good word about what this new transformative technology was that many people in education were just not that familiar with how online, collaborative meetings might be used in education. As part of our viral marketing campaign we launched The Palm Breeze Cafe, a weekly online “show” where members of our team discussed educational technology tools with any teachers or school media specialists who cared to tune in. What we found was that while the online presentation had a good turn-out, we actually got much higher viewership for the recordings of our sessions. Schools were replaying the shows to their staff and using them as part of their professional development program. Cool!
But Lee, being one of those people who is always trying to take over the world, decided that we ought to take things one step further. For this year we made this plan:
We would pre-record the show at our district television station.
The recordings would be converted to Flash Video and placed on our Connect server. (Although we still persist in calling it Breeze.)
The same recordings would also be made available via the regular broadcast network that our district owns. Each week we now run our own version of one of our old favorites, The Screen Savers show that used to run on Tech TV.
The same shows are simulcast by our local cable provider.
So, now we have four ways to use the same video content: Online via our live Palm Breeze Cafe show (so teachers can continue to ask questions and interact as they watch the presentation), directly into the classroom during the regularly scheduled broadcast times, on-demand through their browser via a web link, and finally, if they have cable, right in the comfort of their own homes.
Effective? Oh yeah, we think so, and despite not having ALL of the equipment in place the results are darned good.
But, I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s a presentation that Lee and I taped a few days ago where we put Google searches that our students might want to do up against the research databases that our district subscribes to. While this session talks about three different databases that we subscribe to, we also talk a bit about the problems that teachers and students face when they turn to Google as their first stop in doing research. (You’ll need to click the Play button in the lower left hand corner to get started. Oh, and I’m the good-looking one. )
Google vs. Research Databases