Notes from the Open Video Conference 2011

In case you missed it, the Open Video Conference (OVC) took place on September 10-12 at New York Law School. OVC is a technology event that focuses on access to and creation of open online videos.

We were especially interested in participating in this conference because the Open.Michigan team has spent a lot of time thinking about, researching and developing guidelines for sharing video. While we publish OER on our site, we also try to facilitate open sharing practices more broadly. The University of Michigan has recently been evaluating video capture systems and considering what to do with its digitization projects for archival purposes and the Open.Michigan team wants to help our community and others make informed decisions about creating and using educational video content. We shopped around a draft of the guidelines for sharing recordings at the OVC and got some awesome feedback about making this resource useful. Kudos to an awesome community of open advocates for their feedback and suggestions!

What follows are a few of my notes from the conference. Enjoy!

Tech to be aware of
Popcorn.js: “An event framework for HTML 5 media.”

Here is an example of what can be done with HTML5 video and the popcorn.js framework. This video was created by Jonathan McIntosh and it is a very OER relevant example, because it shows how HTML5 video and popcorn.js can be used to dynamically sync all kinds of contextual information along with the recording. For a remixed OER video, syncing source information with the video is a great feature. Furthermore, having the ability to link to relevant resources as the video is playing has a ton of potential in a teaching and learning environment. More examples of HTML5 video with popcorn.js can be viewed on

Popcorn Maker: “Popcorn Maker allows non-technical authors to add popcorn.js to any web page.”

The Gendered Advertising Remixer: This is a super simple 1 function audio and video remixing tool. It is designed to teach children how they are marketed to by mixing audio from a male-targeted ad with the video from a female-targeted ad, or vice versa. It will be interesting to see what other simple audio and video editing tools are developed. Having more openly licensed videos available online will certainly further enable these kinds of tools.

The Internet Archive also demoed the “Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive” collection. The layout of this collection is particularly interesting, because it provides access to over 3,000 hours of footage in an easy to understand visual interface. Allowing users to compare and contrast all of the videos in new and meaningful ways.

What does all this mean for Open Educational Resources?

Will we one day have large collections of OER videos on a particular topic, like say Neoplasia, from multiple institutions in a collection similar to the “Understanding 9/11” collection? If the videos in these collections are developed with sharing in mind, will there then be simple tools like the Gendered Advertising Remixer in place to quickly and easily remix the videos within the collection? What does this mean for independent learners, or for more traditional teaching and learning environments? Additionally, HTML5 video, popcorn.js and popcornmaker allow semi non-technical people to remix videos and to build unique environments around those videos. Will openly licensed audio and video recordings increase the use and impact of these technologies? I think so, and as OER collections grow and as audio and video remixing tools become more accessible and easy to use, new opportunities for utilizing openly licensed audio and video recordings will appear. I’m excited to see how all of this will evolve.

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