Digital Video in Informal Learning
Digital video enhances informal learning in many ways. It can serve as an information resource or a way to document an educational field trip. It can complement multimedia blogs and websites or serve as a medium for students to connect with and communicate to their local community.
The following links to websites and videos come from the chapter “Turning the Lens Outside the Classroom: Digital Video and Informal Learning,” from the book Teaching with Digital Video: Watch, Analyze, Create.
Organizations Promoting Informal Learning
Apple Learning Interchange
A free membership education resource community supported by Apple and its Apple Distinguished Educator's network. Most resources, created by educators from across the world, are supported by rich media and emergent media tools. Many of the activities support an "informal learning" approach to education.
Edutopia (George Lucas Educational Foundation)
The George Lucas Educational Foundation supported education resource that provides support to educators at all levels and across all subject areas. The wide array of video vignettes representing many topics is among the best in education. Edutopia is available in both a web-based and print format.
Informal Learning Conference: 2.0 video
Taken from the 2008 Learning Technologies Conference (London), in this YouTube video Jay Cross speaks on the relationship between informal learning and Web 2.0. (Note: a number of related YouTube videos are listed alongside this one.)
Partnership for 21st Century Skills "Communication and Collaboration"
This section of the website focuses on Communication and Collaboration skills, which include the utilization of "multiple media and technologies and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori, as well as how to assess their impact.
Created by an Australian educator, this website presents a variety of classroom-based projects supported by emergent media tools. The focal point of Skoolaborate is a "Teen Life" (classroom approved version of Second Life) environment where students and educators from about ten countries gather to engage in rich educational experiences.
Teemu Arina - Tools to facilitate informal learning
Teemu Arina, the popular Finnish consultant and professional speaker known for his work on social learning and ubiquitous computing, offers this video on the role of emergent media tool on informal learning. (Note: alongside this video are numerous links to similar YouTube videos.)
Student digital media projects and competitions
Ankeny Area Historical Society Multimedia Exhibits
High school students use a variety of multimedia tools, including digital video, to document events in their community and beyond.
BestFest American Film Festival
A southern California-based organization that promotes and supports the "next generation of filmmakers" holds competitions across a number of categories.
National History Day Contest
Each year more than half a million students, elementary through High School, participate in this national contest that encourages students to engage in primary and secondary historical research. In this video students use a variety of multimedia tools to create an original documentary on the life and work of feminist Alice Paul.
Outside of the classroom students engage in the time-intensive process of clay animation to illustrate the complex cycle of mitosis.
A filmmaking site designed to assist students with filmmaking and digital video.
On this website, Google's popular social-media tool YouTube promotes a variety of digital media and film contests that students may enter.
Media-Enhanced Field Trip Videos
Anything But Square Design
The genesis for this website for educators was a college student's trip to Peru, where she focused, among other things, on the application of international travel to classroom learning. Her website includes WebQuest-type activities for fellow educators and many examples of how to productively incorporate travel experiences into the formal learning environment.
Director of historical film speaks to students
Ron Maxwell (director of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals) speaks to a group of students after their summer enrichment camp about the challenges and rewards of creating historical films.
Extreme Camp videos – “A Journal Through Hallowed Ground”
This is a complete list of all student videos on the media-enhanced field trips conducted by the Extreme Journal Middle School Camp in 2008 and 2009.
The Heroes of Our Trail
In this movie, two students share their experiences and what they learned from traveling to several Civil War battlefields during the summer of 2008. They documented their visits with digital still and video cameras then edited the footage using iMovie.
Stepping up as Leaders
In this video, two students discuss what they learned about leadership and sacrifice on their visits to Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, and Monticello. These projects were completed over a two-week period, where students and sponsors traveled to eight historic sites and compiled their footage into a short documentary film.
Student Paris Travel Blog
In this blog, a college student describes her travel to Paris, her experiences, and what she learned as it relates to a course in media she was taking as part of her short-term study abroad experience. Although it was her first blog, the student effectively integrated a wide array of material into her blog. She would continue to maintain a blog in future travels.
To Peru and Back
In this blog, an educator recounts her experiences when she engages in educational travel to Peru, and keeps in touch with her elementary grade students in California. The teacher not only shares her travel experiences with her students (and the rest of the world), but she also engages them in scientific exploration of water. She conducts real-time experiences in Peru, which she is able to share with her students both while away and when she returns to the classroom.
Digital Media Development Tools: “How To” Resources
Podcasting in Plain English
This CommonCraft video provides a brief overview on the elements of Podcasting.
Making the Election Video: Behind the Scenes
Another CommonCraft video that depicts how, using paper cutouts, a student might put together a simple video depicting the process involved in the election of the US president. Important elements such as script making and storyboarding are included in this video.
Tech-Ease: Classroom Tech Help
This rich set of tools, from University of South Florida's College of Education, provides scores of podcast tutorials on all aspects of digital and emergent media tools, especially those common in P-12 classrooms.
YouTube has quickly become one of richest sources for a variety of tutorials across a broad range of topics, including how to incorporate video tools into classroom practice. Simply go to the YouTube site and enter the topic for which you're seeking a tutorial, e.g., how to storyboard a video project.
Reaching Today's Learners
Informal learning takes place outside the formal classroom context and includes many learning practices common to everyday experiences of learners in everyday life, such as game playing and informal collaboration on projects of personal interest. For today's learners, digital video, along with other emergent media tools, has increasingly become a primary component of many informal learning activities. To better engage today's learner, increasingly teachers are incorporating informal learning principles into classroom practice. Many are also encouraging their students who choose to engage in digital media-based informal learning projects to share their projects in the classroom and online.
Explore SITE Video site
Teaching with Digital Video