Given the popularity of instant publication models for text (the blog) and for audio (the podcast) it is not surprising that the videoblog or vlog is next in the list of powerful trends. When video is the main content of your blog, it is a vlog, but just like the other concepts the additional meta data to provide context can tie in all sorts of other media types. Blogs often take advantage of RSS for syndication to other web sites and aggregator software (RSS readers). With the inclusion of RSS Enclosures, (discussed above) which provides the ability to attach media files to a feed item/blog post, it is possible to bypass the mainstream intermediaries and openly distribute media to the masses via the Internet. Vlogs typically take advantage of this technological development, just as audioblogs have in recent years via the podcast boom. Videoblogging gains popularity with each passing month, especially since the release of the new Apple Video iPod and the availability of iTunes Store's video content. As with audioblogs, the problem for the vlog is that it is challenging to index and search.
Given that Vlogs are so similar in concept to the text Blogs and audio Podcasts discussed above the sort of use scenarios are also very similar. The extra aspect which is added to the use cases for video involves the dynamic illustration of items; and in particular the level of personalization and 'warmth' that video can add to an otherwise plain learning item.
There are a number of interesting new tools that are now available for professional learners to start to explore the use of this concept. WP-2 has released a new Vlogging tool called FlashVlog into the Prolearn community to assist with this experimentation. From January 2006 all Prolearn Network members are invited to try Vlogging.
It is rather early in the uptake of this technology to judge its real value. But some WP-2 members have already tried it out in different contexts. Figure 3 shows one of the pages intended to show Prolearners about vlogging and how to try it out. The video blogs embedded on this page are taken from a vlog of the Prolearn contribution to the IMC Congress, in Munich Germany on 10th October 2005, (see also the blog entry on http://news.kmi.open.ac.uk/prolearn/stories/40.html)
The student "slides" inside the Technical University in Munich particularly interested the Vlogger and the video taken (the left hand image shown in figure 3) illustrates the impact of this unusual architectural feature in a way that no other medium could! However, vlog items can be used for more than just news.
|The screenshot in figure 4 shows the use of a videoblogging system to produce video annotations on web pages. In this case, the virtual competence centre activity on Expert Interviews has been annotated using a Vlog tool. Such tools now make the video annotation of arbitrary web pages much easier than hitherto.