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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Next Vista for Learning

Next Vista for Learning is an online library of videos that are centered around three main focus areas. Light Bulbs are educational videos created by students, teachers and other educators and they are designed to help individuals learn about a wide range of topics. Global Views are videos made by kids from around the world that provide insight into local communities, customs and cultures. Finally, the Seeing Service videos focus on the good works being done across the globe and help bring awareness to these charitable projects and, hopefully, will help inspire more of this kind of work.

The site requires that videos be kept short, 5 minutes or less, and they screen all submissions to check for inappropriate content. The collection is still rather small but this is the kind of project that has the potential to grow quickly once word gets out. Next Vista can be a great source of educational videos for your students. You can link to, embed and even download the individual video segments so being able to use these resources offline is even an option. I think the site is even more powerful because of the avenue it provides for students to share their own videos. I don't know if there are any plans for this, but it would be nice if there was some way to comment or participate online in discussions about the different videos. Currently, the site is largely designed to be a library of videos for viewing and not as a place to hold conversations around those videos. Obviously, you could use the videos in a social networking environment or some other discussion tool if you wanted to provide this type of experience for your students.

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