Guide to using digital media in teaching and learning

Using digital media in teaching and learning is a new guide that I wrote aimed at people who are curious about how images, video and audio might be applied.

I hope that this guide can act as the first port of call for learning technologists and teachers who aren’t quite yet ready to read about the “how-to” kind of stuff that we are great at.

We explore what digital media is, where it can be used to support teaching and learning and what the key opportunities and challenges are.

Introducing the new MediaCore

It’s a whole new way for your organization to learn with video.

I first came across MediaCore at an event in London last year that I was speaking at on the subject of digital media. Naturally this video platform caught my attention and Stuart Bowness, co-founder was in attendance to explain in detail. Fast forward several months and we kicked the tyres of the platform for EdMediaShare.

Stuart and co asked for our thoughts on the version we had and we mostly loved it, the stuff we didn’t? they added to a list for either investigation or for their customer wall of shame haha!

A hot topic on every institution’s lips is that of managing video: Creation, storage, branding, attribution etc. MediaCore quite rightly is going into this space. Quite frankly I hope they can help solve our problems.

It is nice to see the platform improve and grow. I wish the team much success.

Watch the video explaining the platform.

Clap for ’em

Uses for ebooks

Despite having been around for years, ebooks are still very underutalised in education. There are two types of ebook to consider. Firstly, those books made available from the publishers and other writers. Secondly, self-published books that you produce yourself. I am not sure how much we can shape the path that the academic publishers are on at present so will focus on self-publishing of digital books.

There are plenty of uses for print books in education and currently the main driver for education ebooks is to replicate existing print books in digital form.

For the most part this means simply scanning print books and using Adobe PDF as the ebook file format. The scans are often of poor quality and do not take advantage of the power features of the format.

This underlying theme will continue but the most exciting area will be finding new uses for books that take advantage of what being digital can offer.

Why now?

The growth of commercial ebooks led largely by the ease with which we can now distribute and view ebooks on our mobile devices (laptops, phones and dedicated readers) has shone a light on applications for education.

There hasn’t been much recent research on producing digital books for eduction so I hope posts like this and the work JISC will be doing this year will contribute to the start of something bigger.

ebooks can be accessed and read  across multiple  platforms:

  • There are dedicated ebook readers (to remain niche?)
  • Mobile phones
  • Computers and tablets
  • Printed out

Uses for digital books

  1. Text books (ebooks textbooks)
  2. Course supplement
  3. Promotional books e.g. prospectus
  4. Course handbooks
  5. Workbooks
  6. Reading lists
  7. Reference book
  8. Monograph
  9. Research e.g. journals
  10. Collecting themed work e.g. blog posts

In a future post I will explore the unique opportunities that digital books can offer.


JISC – Digital monogragh technical landscape study

JISC Digital Media – Introduction to ebooks

JISC Digital Media – Getting started with ebooks

Craig Mod – Post-artifact books and publishing


Podcast 5by5: David Sleight

In Big Web Show Episode No. 66, Jeffrey Zeldman interviews veteran web designer and publishing creative director David Sleight about how traditional publishers can transition to creating successful digital experiences, and the (mostly conceptual) obstacles they will have to overcome to do so.

Topics discussed in this episode include: why publishers alternately blame technology and treat it as a savior; the downside for magazine publishers of Apple’s new retina display; why content thieves may be your best customers in waiting; content-focused responsive design versus printed page emulation; and much more.

Around half way through the episode there is some interesting comments about the need for ‘digital and interactive experiences rather than simply porting the existing model to digital’.

Learning Studio celebrates Year One

I have been following the Learning studio with interest and they just hit the one year mark, congratulations.

It’s hard to believe but the Learning Studio opened its doors to the campus last March. In that time we’ve seen over a thousand camera and equipment check-outs, are averaging 900 room reservations a month, and have offered dozens of workshops and training sessions for students and faculty.

Year One: A Glimpse from Learning Studio on Vimeo.

Strong interest for ebooks

3 computers to support the session

Today’s online surgery/webinar on ‘Getting started with ebooks‘ attracted 150 registrations and around 100 folk turned up at the top of the hour.

The turnout confirms that there is much interest on this topic and I hope to carry this energy into at least 1 project this year.

See my ‘notes on ebooks‘ for a collection of links from the past year or so that I continue to add to.