I’ve come across two services/online software that appear to have useful academic application, Vuvox and Glogster.
I’ve been working recently on producing some information materials to be used both for presentations in workshops and as online resources for delegates (and anyone else). I’ve liked the look of the Vuvox Collage service ever since I first saw it, and thought it would be useful for what I was putting together. So I’ve been experimenting.
- is Visual based
- allows development of a linear narrative
- it’s published online
- enables other media to ‘hang’ from it
- is a new presentation format
I like the idea of Vuvox Collage because it is very visual based. Strong images stimulate the brain in a way that enables greater information retention. Vuvox has convenient links to photo storage and sharing sites, including Flickr, Picasa, and SmugMug, you can also upload your own photos, video, and audio into your Vuvox account.
Vuvox Collage works like a continuous strip of images horizontally crossing the screen, navigated using a slide bar. This means that you can develop a presentation with a linear narrative; again another aid to memory retention. However, because it is easy to navigate you don’t have to stick to the ‘pre-written script’, but can easily jump throughout your ‘story’. Also, when you want to go back to a specific point, say when answering questions at the end of a presentation, you can find the spot easily as well; no messing around trying to locate a slide.
This merging of ideas to form a continuous story also seems more intuitive (for producer and consumer) than producing discrete slides.
Hanging media off your ‘story-strip’ means that you can link to audio and video content, or embed it. That means you can add a commentary to a presentation, and if you go back to a particular point later the additional media doesn’t have to play, unlike a slidecast in say Slideshare. Also you don’t have to host the media elsewhere.
As you’re creating the content online, you only have to click one button to Publish it. You’re provided with a permalink for your presentation and embedding code for your blog.
This, therefore, would seem to have a number of academic applications.
- It can certainly be used as a medium for presenting ideas in a lecture setting or at conference, with the backup material pre-published for students or delegates to access. Used well, it can raise engagement levels for a topic.
- It could easily find an application in History for producing timelines; in journalism for news stories as they develop, and so on.
- Learners could use the medium as a way to develop and share their ideas and concepts. Strong pictorial artifacts can be used as a useful hook to aid memory and their learning process. They can build up an archive or library with linked information in an unusual format, breaking away from the over emphasis on text produced materials.
Here are links to two presentations I produced using Vuvox Collage.
Vuvox links in Diigo – http://www.diigo.com/user/markuos/vuvox?tab=250
Glogster has similar applications to Vuvox, in a more discrete poster based format. Again it is an online service delivering all those advantages. Also it allows hyperlinks, audio, and video to be embedded. Often in a number of subject areas students have to produce posters to represent their work. Glogster would seem to be a useful way of doing this without the expense of having a poster printed and allowing incorporation of other media into the display. (I’ve seen examples of students trying to imitate websites with posters, saying that this text links to that text, Glogster seems to get round that problem.) The online posters would be accessible and could aid the broader online learning community.
Links to a couple of examples of Glogster posters:
Jess explains how to embed a Glogster poster into a wiki in this video:
Glogster links in Diigo – http://www.diigo.com/user/markuos/glogster?tab=250