Streaming Video Resources for Online Classes

The CFC Educational Technology Team and the Library are working to understand, support, and document the needs that faculty have for legally obtained streaming video that can be linked to your LMS courses.

Before the end of the semester, we should have a full update of the currently available resources in place and have a process for recording and demonstrating the need for any gaps in resources.

For now, though, we know that some of you are working on the preparation of your fall classes.  With that in mind, remember the following:

  • You can use the Panopto tool link or can simply paste the web link from your Panopto folder into your course.  This is for videos you already have, own, or have personally certified as falling under public domain or fair use.
  • You can always insert a YouTube or other link into the LMS (understanding that web-links need to be checked periodically).
  • If you are looking for video sources, a good place to start is the library media resources:  Remember that if you aren’t finding what you need, we can seek funding for finding it only by establishing a need, so let us know.
  • The best method for reporting a need for a resource is to contact the collection manager, Jessica Zellers, but the CFC Ed Tech team will be glad to help in whatever way we can.
  • There are a number of educator oriented streaming media sites available on the web.  The collection is dynamic, and, again, will take periodic link-checking and monitoring. Here is an example: and, if you are willing to look in multiple places, the openculture video forum lists a number of links to other resources.
  • Consider focusing on a specific non-profit source of content.  Cultural heritage organizations, have continually increasing collections of content that are available to the public that are appropriate for higher educational use.  Their dedicated museum education programs are often underutilized by higher education faculty because of the nature of disciplinary and organizational silos.  If you are interested in a discovery meeting and sample directory of those sorts of services in your discipline, please contact Jonathan Wade at the CFC.



Update on Google Cardboard Virtual Reality

If you have been paying any attention to the promises and prospects of virtual reality as an educational tool, I have no doubt that you have at least heard of Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard is an outgrowth of genius (free-form development) time for a number of Google employees.

It grew out of the idea that the customer is already investing in a regular update of his or her equipment and that many top-level cell phones already have good audio and video capabilities and many have internal gyroscopes and accellerometers that allow them to track motion, location, and direction.  The Cardboard is a low-end cardboard case that wraps around your cell phone and allows you to experience a rudimentary experience of virtual reality with the equipment you already have.

For the most part, this is just cool, accessible, and inexpensive, but we aren’t yet at the level of the Matrix.

I’ve been following the Google Cardboard phenomenon since it was first introduced.  I’ve assembled several headsets and tried out various experimental VR apps on a number of Android and Apple phones.

For the past few months the CFC Educational Technology Team has been exploring the use of Google Cardboard in education and have specifically been betatesting the Google Expeditions virtual field trip platform.

We’ve found that there are a number of issues related to varying equipment types and network issues that made the betatest difficult to successfully navigate.  After the Innovations focus team at the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning tried out the beta version, several of us came to the conclusion that the only workable answer would be to run the system through an integrated equipment set that took away the difficulty of worrying about connection and equipment issues.  We submitted our information, along with all the other beta-testers, and behold, Google recently announced that the beta had concluded and that they were releasing the Expeditions app for educators who are willing to buy an integrated kit that includes one teacher (Guide) tablet and several student (Explorer) devices.  Click the link in the sentence before to go to Google’s announcement page, or take a look at the bundled kits from Best Buy which range from around $4,000 – 10,000.

Google Expedition Kits

That may seem like a whole lot of money for a classroom kit, but I want to commend Google for pressing forward and putting together a more finished product that will be easier to deploy, use, and support.  Given requirements for a consistent experience, an integrated classroom set of this sort is far superior to asking a teacher to hack together a barely working system.

With that said, instructors, particularly in K12, will find this to be a very engaging way to take their students on virtual field trips to places to which they may never go including actual places like Winsor Castle, Tenochtitlan, or the surface of Mars and to simulated spaces like the inside of the digestive system.

There are less expensive ways in which you can get an exposure to the technology.  The CFC has a number of the cardboard shells and we’ll be glad to show you a number of apps that you can download from the ITunes App Store and Google Play that will give you a certain level of experience with your existing equipment.  We are also looking for opportunities to partner with faculty to use technology in innovative ways that integrate with your curricular goals and outcomes.  If you are interested in partnering with us or in simply getting an introduction to the technology, feel free to come by the Commons or to send a message to, Jonathan Wade, your friendly educational technologist.