All The News That Fits Your Screen

There is no shortage of stories about the death of the print newspaper. For many of us, newspapers are still the main source of local news, arts and entertainment guides, community information, sports, and shopping. Now, that may include a local newspaper's online services. And if the news is across the country or the world, THAT local paper may be the best source. And, for those of us at colleges, our campus newspaper is certainly the only source for much of our "local" news. So, here is a post about how to read more of those newspapers online.

NewsVoyager.com is a "newspaper portal" to newspaper sites around the world.  NewsVoyager.com provides links to U.S. daily and weekly newspaper home pages and sections, Canadian and international daily newspapers, newspaper groups, associations and other media organizations. I found 61 daily and weekly papers here in New Jersey.

They also provide a link to other sites with links to college newspapers and newspaper archives. This site is a service of the Newspaper Association of America, a nonprofit organization representing the newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.

Mommy, What Was A Newsweekly?

Newsweek and Time magazines have both decided to stop trying to compete with "new media" to be the first with news, and to focus on being where you turn for in-depth commentary and reporting.

I think it is a good move, but it may have come a few years too late. Both newsweeklies are hoping to avoid what U.S. News & World Report decided to do - give up with the idea of being a weekly publication entirely.

Newsweek
has a circulation of about 2.7 million and expects to drop to almost 50% of that. It was at 3.5 million in 1988. Time’s circulation back then was almost 5 million, and it is now at 3.4 million.

Competition from other media, particularly online, and significant ad losses (down 20% for the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008) in the magazine world parallels the problems in the newspaper industry.

Condé Nast's overly glossy business magazine, Portfolio, bit the dust with the May 09 issue. Its venerable old lady, Vogue, lost 30+% of its ad pages this year. (Though you might suspect that Teen Vogue would go first, if, in fact, teens are not print readers.) Even poor old Mad magazine, now part of DC Comics, has gone quarterly. And several magazines have given up on print editions but maintained a web presence. Portfolio, for example, still has a site as of now.

TeacherTube MySites

TeacherTube, a YouTube for teacher videos, is something I wrote about back in 2007 when it launched.  Now, like YouTube, they are offering TeacherTube MySite which is a co-branded version of TeacherTube for your school's (K-12 school, college, university or organization) media content.

Typically, schools will upload class videos, school documents, or audio recordings. The school gets a lot of admininstrative controls. You decide what to remove, approve, add, upload.

Of course, it doesn't have to be for the entire school - it could be a showcase for the media of your class or organization in a safe setting. You can allow staff or students to upload media to your site to expand it. You can also customize the look & feel of your site using their designs, adding a background or uploading a logo. You will also have the choice of your own personalized site URL.

It has some privacy and security settings, so you can make your site as visible or as hidden as you want. A personalized MySite will contain no ads. And you can choose to moderate everything on your site - approve members, videos, or comments.

Here's the big BUT - it is not a free service. They have several pricing plans. One option allows you to add more than 20 members/users for just $5 per user with unlimited public views for a year.

I liked the original idea of TeacherTube - teachers uploading videos they created for other teachers to use. I like the idea of allowing schools or teachers to create their own branded site-within-a-site for their content. I have done that with a channel on YouTube for students in my grad course. It's easy and convenient. It's also free. PLus, the YouTube EDU area offers many of the same features. So, I have my doubts about the viability of the "business model" for TeacherTube MySites when there are places to host your branded content without fees.

Using Streaming Video As Prewriting

I did a session this week for faculty about using video as a pre-writing activity. I'm starting to think of video - especially when it is segmented into clips about specific things - as very similar to using readings.

I know that students who are given a choice of viewing two 10 minute video clips on Shakespeare's language or reading about 20 minutes about it will more often choose the videos. I also know that many instructors are uncomfortable with equating doing that reading with viewing the videos.

I also know that you will encounter some of the problems and benefits no matter which one you assign. Let's say that I want my students to read or watch background materials before a class. I want to start the class with a discussion about those materials. The students who did the reading and those who watched the videos will both be bale to contribute to the discussion. Those who did not read or view will not be able to add much to the discussion. Not a big difference.

As a quick sample, I created on-the-fly a playlist of three videos that I could use to have students get some background for a discussion on how today's English shows the influences of the past. This first video I found on YouTube is a discussion of a Spanish/English connection which might be of additional interest to our PCCC Hispanic students.  "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection" from the University of California http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBXWn00Cc-8 runs 28:10 minutes. This documentary covers key relationships between the two theater traditions of Spain and England, including materials from performances in New Mexico and California.

"Debate Over a Pure English" is from the larger The Story of English.  I selected a 4 minute clip titled "The Inkhorn Controversy" which refers to a debate among English scholars over whether the English language should eliminate Latin and Greek words and return to its Anglo-Saxon roots. It is from our Films On Demand subscription collection (which is why I can't link to the actual video here). The feature I like with the service is that I can bookmark clips from a longer video and give students a link to it.

A longer video is an episode from the Charlie Rose program called "Shakespeare in Literature and Film" (PBS -57:47)  It's great that is available freely on Google Video, but I can't "bookmark" or excerpt the video. At best, I could provide a time reference for students and they could fast-forward to it.

Here are some resources I suggested that are freely available. The advantages in using these are that there is no subscription, no username/password required, and, in some cases, they can be embedded into a webpage. The disadvantages are that you cannot bookmark or excerpt them, and there is no guarantee that the video will still be available online in the future.

These sources are "educational"

1. http://www.techreview.com/video/   at MIT
2. http://wws.princeton.edu/webmedia/  at the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs
3. http://teachertube.com/ an online community of teachers sharing instructional videos The videos range over the entire K-20 levels.
4. NJVid http://www.wpunj.edu/njvid/ is a very new project that is now collecting both commercial video and content produced by NJ colleges and groups for streaming distribution. PCCC is a beta site for 2009. A sample title already there is "Newark : the slow road back,"  a 58 minute film made 20 years after the 1967 riots that is in the Government, Politics, Law section of the collection.
5. Many universities have their own YouTube channels, such as the University of California on YouTube and other groups such as Internet2 offer video for the higher ed community - The Research Channel

Here are a few sources that offer good "serious" video:

1. http://www.edge.org/edge_video.html
2. http://www.ted.com/   TED Talks

I would also recommend these "commercial" (but free) video sites. Yes, there is a lot of entertainment programming here (All work and no play...) but there is also g=good news, talk and documentary content.

1. http://www.hulu.com/
2. http://boxee.tv/
3. http://www.veoh.com/
4. http://current.com/
5. http://tvjersey.com/ has Jersey-centric video that might be useful to those of us here in NJ.
6. "cable channels" such as The History Channel http://www.history.com/ offer much of their content online
7. http://www.cbs.com and other networks offer many of their shows online. For example, I could see a teacher using segments (and they are segmented) from a program like CBS' 60 Minutes.

YouTube EDU



YouTube EDU (as in http://www.youtube.com/edu - it's not a .edu site, thank goodness) launched today.

It is called on the YouTube blog an educational hub - a “volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities.”

Right now, the site is aggregating videos from existing college and university content - lectures, student films, athletic events.