Kaltura: What is it? Why should I use it?

When a company markets their product, they want to wow you with all the bells and whistles and entice you to buy it. Once it comes down to application, however, that new product with its huge list of “features and benefits” may leave you puzzled.

confused

There is a lot of documentation on a relatively new Blackboard building block we’ve made available to you called Kaltura. We even have some fantastic tutorials on our faculty resources page, which you will definitely want to refer to after you read this article. But before you read the instructions, it would serve you well to understand what the product is.

We can probably all look back on a time when someone gave a gift that puzzled us as to its use or purpose. Months, or even years later, a situation or need may have arisen that caused us to remember the gift and suddenly have a purpose for it.  Aha moment

As a member of the Virtual Campus staff, it is a high priority for me to understand, navigate and become comfortable using  certain technologies. Yet, I tend to have a “show me why I need it” philosophy before I jump on the technology bandwagon.

Since our adoption of Kaltura, here are some of the ways I have found it useful in teaching my online course:

Student Projects

My music appreciation class has a final project that allows students to submit an audio or video recording. I generally do not get many video projects, but when a student emailed to say she was having problems uploading hers because the file was not in the right format, the “ahah moment” hit me. “I know just the tool for that!” I thought. I suddenly had a practical need for Kaltura. Kaltura allows video and audio uploads in any format. It also allows you to add images.

 Screen Capture

I found Kaltura useful again when I wanted to create an instructional video with screen capture for my students. I was able create a lecture video using you tube video clips, my voice, and screen shots of several webpages.

Welcome and Lecture Videos

Although I am still camera shy, (I cannot seem to not look weird on a web cam) I am impressed and inspired by our faculty who post a welcome video in their courses. Kaltura would allow me to do that too!

Kaltura audio and video files can be used anywhere in Blackboard. Faculty and students can add video to assignments, tests, quizzes, forums, blogs, etc. Imagine the possibilities. You could add audio instructions to assignments; you could have students post video or audio responses to your discussion board; you could add an audio or video introduction to each course unit.

These suggestions just scratch the surface. So, what are you waiting for?   Start poking around and see how you can best use that puzzling gift the VC got you.

http://site.kaltura.com/Blackboard-Video-Walk-Through.html

http://corp.kaltura.com/Products/Video-Applications/Video-Building-Block-for-Blackboard

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