Digital skills in education: multimedia, iPads and MOOCs

Posted on December 12, 2013


Tech and education

Educators should thank their lucky stars for the blog scene because without it they might be stuck in the digital dark ages. Thanks to the blog work of dedicated teachers and online learning experts it is easy to keep up to date with the latest digital resources. Three blogs I read regularly provide excellent background and links to the latest technology, websites and software.

Teaching with iPad
The first – – is a blog dedicated to Apple’s popular fondleslab. This site kicks in with the basics but also offers great guides for syncing with Dropbox, drawing 3D models or apps for creating interactive content. Video-wise there’s an introduction to Avid’s Pinnacle Studio (formerly Avid Studio), which is probably the best video editing software available for the iPad.

More feature-rich than iMovie and comparably easy to use, Pinnacle is the preferred app for video and mobile journalists because it can be used to produce broadcast quality edits quickly. Look at the video below for a comparison between the two.

Educators Technology
ET is a fount of all tech knowledge when it comes to teaching. Writer and lecturer Med Kharbach really trawls the web for sites and software that could help teachers, he manages to pull so much of it together that, inevitably, some of the startups listed on the blog have gone out of business. Do not let that put you off. There is so much to read here that even if you try one fifth of the material that he posts and find it useful, it will enrich your lectures and lessons immeasurably.

Try this one for starters – The 33 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher Should Have. It includes:

  • Social bookmarking
  • Editing audio
  • Video tools
  • Infographics
  • Screen Capture tools
  • Kharbach packs his blog with the latest information and it is worth checking out his site at least once or twice weekly, because there is so much more he can help you with.

    Donald Clark: MOOC-man
    Donald Clark’s ‘Plan B’ blog is probably the most relevant to higher education and development of the MOOC (massively open online course). Basing his knowledge on more than 15 years in the online learning market, he writes almost daily on his experiences and reports from high level conferences on the future of education. Clark debunks myths about the MOOC and notes, from his recent trip to Online Educa in Berlin, that many critics of the MOOC have never tried the courses themselves.

    Apart from offering an appraisal of cloud-based education, his is a knowledgeable blog on pedagogy, learning theory and the philosophy of learning. He is an unapologetic critic of Sugata Mitra’s ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment and its conclusions. His thread relating to Mitra’s work includes some biting comments – several in reply from Mitra himself – that make essential reading. His website – Plan B Learning – includes links to his TED talk and other video presentations. Bookmark his blog (Donald Clark Plan B) and read it regularly.