I'm recommending another Jon Udell production to you; this time a 43-minute interview with CJ Rayhill of SafariU about their product, and technology in education in general. SafariU is an O'Reilly customized textbook product that allows profs to pick and choose content to create a customized copyright-cleared textbook for sale to students, and that also can be completely searchable online. The first half of the interview is mostly about the product and how it came to be, and gave me a better understanding for the textbook industry. When I first heard of SafariU I didn't think much of it, as a librarian, but after hearing the interview I realize that of course it's not a product for libraries (gasp!).
The second half of the interview is where it gets more interesting, IMHO. Jon describes how blended learning (listening to lectures on his bike and then showing up for class to discuss the material) seems like a complete no-brainer. Then on to screencasting, where CJ posits that it's a natural fit/progression to allow instructors to incorporate multimedia into their custom textbooks. They admit that there's still a learning curve for people to be able to easily whip out a good screencast, but it's becoming more common and you will start to see them appearing in places like software reviews and "textbooks". That gave me the idea that screencasts could be effectively used to provide a very brief introduction to any new database your library rolls out. You don't have to necessarily teach someone how to use the thing, but why not spend a few minutes getting to know the new product (you know you have to do that anyway), and then record a 2-minute overview to orient folks to the new database?
There are a couple more goodies in the interview, go give it a listen.
Technorati Tags: SafariU, Education, Technology, Screencasting, Udell