Participatory Learning Media

We had been reading and talking about this for years now but the time is ripe to start transitioning from instructing multi-media in the classroom to media-edu-tainment integration at its best, utilized and redefined from the perspective of learning students. One of my "thinking hats" focused since 2004, in enabling language learners improve their communication skills in English, taking a huge leap from the usual practice of them just building "knowledge about" the language, a common practice in Philology à la Spanish.

In the passage from manually integrating content for tailor "designed" flexible interactive classes, to coaching students for them to go find their own chosen content and explore the options of mix and match, specially in the case of young learners and corporate students, I've noticed that extending their autonomous and participatory learning habits informs a myriad of ideas and creativity flows back and forth in the learning scenario. For those of us informed in socio-linguistic practices with languages alive and "moving", using "participatory media" sources to activate participatory learning modes is the cherry on the cake. The multiple options of TV streams with chat widgets, the evolution of blogs and the chance to start embedding clips facilitated by the former traditional media broadcasting companies (see previous post with NBC clip of Saturday Night Live) is a dream come true.

Needless to say, students need to have access to quality broadband internet services. We had been moving rather slowly in this area in Spain, but now we are starting to close the gap in most cities, while in rural areas mobile data transfer is picking up via different services pretty fast. Many public schools are doing well in this sense, but unfortunately many private schools aren't -for a variety of reasons, for instance when education is taken to be just business and the business vision is of the very short sighted kind. With the younger generations of digital natives this gap is solved in any case through their social media networks of friends.

Browsing the YouTube Help Centre I found a list of companies that offer transcriptions, captioning and subtitling following the high demand and dissemination of video content, companies such as Talking Type, ($1.25 per minute with time code and $1.00 without time code). I was about to start highlighting this to some clients... when I came across this very inspiring clip:

Courtesy of both YouTube's evolution within the Google business implementing captions technology and the Opencast Project Open House at UC Berkeley, innovative and creative as may be, we are informed the time spent transcribing the clips used with case study students will soon be over. Plus it seems they've been exploring innovative ways to handle content and webcasting and are following inputs from students and collaborators from various sources. I was thrilled to hear that some Apple audio recognition features would also be observed, I'll stay tuned :)

In any case, I'm delighted to find that the "captions on/off" button on many YouTube clips is fully operative: check the bottom right corner of the embedded clip and mouse roll-over to find the new tools. This new feature was informed by Podcasting News months ago. Things are moving fast you folks ... don't miss this one UNIOVI!

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