Thursday, April 3, 2014

Streaming Video: Teaching and Learning Tools for the Visual Age

You could call it the Visual Age.

Our society is an increasingly visual one, where pictures and video rule the roost. Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube--all purveyors of visual content--are booming kings of the social media hill. On the juggernaut that is Facebook, photos and video drive the most engagement on their top 10 brand pages, and videos on these pages are shared an astounding 12 times more often than links and text posts combined.  AllFacebook

In this visual media-rich age, how can TWU students and instructors supplement their learning and teaching with reliable and readily-available tools embodying this increasingly-popular visual bent?  By incorporating streaming video content into their classrooms, research, presentations and study.

Through the resources of Texas Woman's University Libraries, TWU students and faculty and staff members have access to a wealth of streaming video content.  While no one source is all-inclusive, each offers a unique and valuable perspective on the content it contains.  Combined, they provide students and teachers with a wealth of visual media to supplement course materials and enrich classroom experiences.

While most of the TWU Libraries' 200+ databases have a video component, there are some which focus primarily on providing streaming video content.  These include VAST: Academic Video OnlineFilms on DemandKanopy VideostreamingNBC LearnNursing Digital LibraryNursing Education in; and Opposing Viewpoints.


A part of the libraries' database inventory since Fall 2013, NBC Learn features 12,000 digitized stories from the NBC News archives dating back to the 1920s, all in one convenient location.  Current event content is updated every weekday, allowing users to watch the news instead of reading it.

NBC Learn in a Nutshell

Videos are available for use, free of copyright restrictions, by TWU faculty members and students for downloading and embedding--using simple embeddable links--into their Blackboard classes, PowerPoint presentations, reports, in-class discussions and debates, etc.

  A signature feature of NBC Learn is its Cue Card system, an advanced media player which supports videos, launchable with one click--as well as photographs, newspaper articles, primary source documents and other media.  Cue Cards are flippable, offering bibliographic information, clickable keywords, video lengths and citations (in your choice of MLA, APA or Chicago Manual of Style format) on the "flip side."  Assign groups of Cue Cards in your classes, or use them to get a quick update on the topic of your choosing.

*  User-friendly navigation.  Click on the tab on each video's right side, and a full transcript appears.  Additional tabs along the bottom let users create personal playlists; make notes; share Cue Cards via Facebook, Twitter, email and more; print full transcripts; and download videos for offline viewing.

*  Videos stream to desktops, laptops and tablets with Flash installed--making them available when you want them, where you want them.

*  Broad range of subject areas--from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, U.S. History, Global Studies, Health & Nursing, Psychology, Business, Marketing, Journalism, Sociology and more.

*  Short (2- to 5-minute) videos help connect classroom material to real-world applications while utilizing very little precious class or study time.

*  NBC Learn in the Classroom featuring feedback from educators who have used NBC Learn videos with their students.

*  Users can create personal playlists to keep resources organized or share them with others.

*  Printable transcripts are available by clicking on the tab on the right side of each video display.  These are useful for reinforcing material for all students, but particularly for those whose first language is not English.

*  Videos supported by closed captioning and available transcripts are ADA-compliant and engage students with both visual and auditory learning styles.

*  Original NBC Learn Collections including Science of Sports, Science, Social Sciences, English and more.  Some students find math and science easier to learn when they are related to sports.

*  A rich source of material on current events to aid topic selection by students for their papers and other research assignments.

*  Arranged by topic, in 40 browsable collections, for ease of use in interdisciplinary applications.

*  Bring history alive with contemporaneous broadcast clips about historical events.

*  Interviews with authors, essayists, and writers of note on some of the significant works of the 20th century.

*  Health and Nursing Science resources support the latest breakthroughs in physical, mental and regulating health issues.

*  Keep up with academics in the news.  Search by institution, faculty name, etc.

*  User-friendly searchability.  Filter videos by source; search by key words; or use the Advanced Search option for compound searches and limiting the scope of your search by date, etc. 

*  Videos are sharable via email, Twitter, Facebook and more.

*  Campus Perspectives content, direct from and created by academic institutions, is sortable by topic and institution.

Amy Blackburn, TWU graduate student in Library & Information Studies, particularly likes the transcript feature and the ability to print all of a Cue Card's information on a single page.  She also appreciates the related videos after each clip ("like YouTube," she says.)

Have a few minutes?  Try NBC Learn here.


Access NBC Learn; our other streaming video databases; and other databases in our inventory by using the Databases A-Z List link on the TWU Libraries homepage.  Click on the database you're interested in and sign in with your Pioneer Portal information to enjoy streaming video content and more.  


Videos are indexed, and therefore retrievable, using specific language.  For best results experiment with terminology (use alternate search terms or consult an online thesaurus.)

For assistance with searching, streaming video or
any of our databases, please do not hesitate to contact the TWU Libraries.

~Sandy Cochran with contributions by Stephany Compton and Jimmie Lyn Harris

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