What if your students created viral videos as course projects?

It might just work! Sure writing papers is academically significant and is a way to demonstrate understanding, analysis, and such. No question that putting together a web site is collaborative and there are opportunities to make changes after peers offer feedback on the project.

But if good videos carried a good message and through right distribution affected thousands of people and how they think? What if content was presented in a persuasive way, and had immediate impact? We can shoot for the stars, right?

Truth is that a good story is part of the success. Viral by itself isn’t much, it has to have a message. But it also needs to be produced well. What if we could attract high quality production people? What if there were local resources we could rely on? This might be worth looking into.

This video is one of those viral ones. The article presents a perspective on the process (you will not be able to miss the sales pitch in it for Visual.ly, but there is good content nonetheless).


Blackboard Content Editor

I am excited to present this new format to you for our Weekly Tip! I thought of starting this on a blog anyway, but just at that moment I went the faster way, and now the content will need to be migrated over, but it will be well worth it!

So, today we will talk a little bit about the editor. There has been some trouble going around with it, in addition to its previous limitations.

Let me first start with the things I like about it.

Hummm…. Well…

Just kidding! Here they are!

  1. You can easily change the color of your text and the background. And when you messed up, you can clean up by using the remove formatting button, and you can always undo it! The sacred UNDO actually works on formatting. Great!
  2. File is selected on upload. Yes, if you want to attach a file, and you browse the course, and then upload a file from your computer, it’s already selected upon uploading and you just have to submit.

Now, things that cause problems and/or don’t work:

  1. So called “context menu”, or “copy/paste/cut” in the editor’s own tools. Don’t ask why. These just won’t work for a while.
  2. In order to copy/paste/cut you have to use keyboard shortcuts (Windows: CTRL+C,V, and X respectively, on Macs: COMMAND+C,V, and X). You can also use the menu from the browser (EDIT>COPY or PASTE or CUT).
  3. Recently, Safari and Chrome have been revolting against copying and pasting from the browser. While Safari will give you an inch every now and then, Chrome says “Uh-uh”. Both browser will paste from a TextEdit, MS Word, and other applications (Pages), OR will PASTE AND MATCH STYLE from within a browser, which is actually a pretty neat option, if you ask me. You can also go into the HTML window and paste all you want with shortcuts.
  4. Spellcheck won’t work in Firefox.

What if there was a video tutorial on this? Well, there is a tutorial from Blackboard, and I think we can be very proactive and post our questions and comments right under this YouTube video. Let’s be an engaged online learning community of Bb users of all kinds and force encourage Blackboard to address our editing needs.

Video Everywhere and How to Deliver a Good Speech

One of the skills good social workers have is advocating for their clients in a persuasive coherent manner. Blackboard offers a tool, Video Everywhere, which allows MSW students to record their presentations and testimonials. If you or your students are new to this tool, please review the instructions from Bb. One additional stipulation: users must have a YouTube Channel before they can record using Video Everywhere, and will be prompted for that in the process.

Of course, it’s more important to develop good public speaking, and this resource will show you 10 dos and don’ts of public speaking. (Spoiler alert: there will be a mention of “T-rex arms”).

10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking

(And check out how Prezi is used in this presentation. There is more to presentations than using PowerPoint!)

Happy first day of spring!