Easy multimedia

A quick trip over at one of my favourite sites, Interactive Narratives, lead me to VuVox, a Web 2.0 multimedia authoring tool that stole my attention for about a half an hour.  There could be lots of useful applications of  tools like this in higher ed, in particular where multimedia development resources might be stretched, or where there is a desire for students to tell a story, explain, show understanding, or even synthesize in a multi-layered, dynamic way.  Robin Good provides a nice overview/how to on the tool

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visualization tool plus plus and amazing instructional design

Two great new discoveries this week…

Via downes, VUE is an open source application that pushes the envelope in the visualization/concept mapping department.  I have a  few projects that can take advantage of the ability to link nodes to local or public files, display images, and allow tagging and categories to be assigned.  Again, it passed the 2 minute tool test, and some of the more advanced features are well described and demonstrated on the Features page.

The other item making the rounds in the Canadian Copyright world is an astounding piece of work from Appropriation Art.   Not only is the topic one that is of concern/interest to me, but that aside, it’s a brilliant example of great instructional design.  Obviously the visual narrative form (with embedded links to perspectives of others) is well suited to addressing any type of debate, but I’m thinking of ways this could be used for case studies or historical descriptions for a variety of disciplines.  

catching up

During my blogging hiatus, which corresponded with my move to the Canadian Polytechnic where I now am employed and a subsequent maternity leave (identical twins!!), I was jotting down on a post-it note new tools that I thought would be useful for instructors and students, but needed more time to explore.  I came back to a very tidy cubicle (thank you tidyers) but no post-it.  I’m trying to recall some of those tools, and bubbl.us came to mind.  I remember liking bubbl.us because like my old standby, Gliffy, it passed the 2 minute test and the drag, drop, click interface works nicely.  But bubbl.us is definitely more suited to concept mapping, since connections between ideas are automatically drawn .  In the past I’ve taught an online distance course where a student assignment was to submit and share a concept map–we used CMap for this purpose, but it wasn’t as seamless as we had hoped.  Bubbl.us would be a good replacement–a quick visit shows that the interface is even more intuitive than before, and the ability to collaborate with others (something we love to do in our constructivist-designed online courses) is a huge plus.  The usual import and export features are there, and although I haven’t tested those recently, I’m pretty confident they work quite nicely–at the very least, it’s easy to find.