Sunday, December 2, 2012

Educational Mashup Example

Educational mashups can be a creative and fun way to engage students. One of my assignments for EDT 6440, which I'm enrolled in this semester is to create an educational mashup and then create a narrated PowerPoint, podcast, or video explaining the educational mashup. This is a reflection upon that assignment and its outcome.

So, first of all, I think it's important to define  "mashup"; not everyone has heard the term before. I hadn't really heard it much before a couple of years ago when I started to get involved in Educational Technology. The term mashup is the "combining of two or more sources of data to form a new data set." (Freedman, 2010). The term originated within the music industry to describe a combining of two or more soundtracks into a new one. This term has carried over to represent the combining of two or more of Web sources to create something new. Educational mashups just refers to the use of mashups for learning and creativity in education.

One article I read on educational mashups discussed the various levels of mashups where it can be as simple as someone using iGoogle, NetVibes, or Yahoo as their browser home page, which "allows users with no (or minimal) programming knowledge to mix, match, filter, and repurpose data from various resources." (Wiliarty, 2008), or it can be very involved requiring programming by a developer. Obviously, most students and educators would not be at the level of a developer, but they may still want to create something that catches the imagination.

Creating educational mashups is much easier today than it used to be. Many of the Web-based tools such as Google Maps, Flickr, Twitter, RSS feeds and many other api gadgets allow for a combining of data to create something new.

My idea for an educational mashup is a common one of combining Google Maps, photos on Flickr, and videos on YouTube to create a picture map of one of my favorite spots. A teacher could easily use something like this with their students to teach geography, visual arts, mapping, and could also include writing a reflection, such as I'm doing. Additionally, I will be combining a couple of different photos and videos to create a video explaining my educational mashup idea. Doing a project such as this combines the teaching of traditional skills of writing, speaking, and presenting, along with non-traditional, technology skills of using a blog, using a mapping program, embedding photos and videos, along with making a video, podcast, or PowerPoint. These are all important skills for today's students to be learning.

Below you will find the educational mashup I created from using Google Maps, Flickr, and YouTube. Although many times the students may not have their own photos and videos to use with the map they are creating, the videos and photos used in the mashup I created are all photos and videos I've taken and uploaded to Flickr and YouTube respectively. If the students do have photos or videos the have taken that they can use in the mashup, it may spark even more interest in doing the project.

Educational Mashup Example: Plainwell's Riverwalk - Sherwood Park to Hicks Park

View Plainwell's Riverwalk - Sherwood Park to Hicks Park in a larger map

I've also embedded the video I created to explain my educational mashup. Unfortunately, my computer and my headphone/microphone were having issues so the audio track isn't the greatest, so I apologize for the audio quality, along with the audio blast when the video within my Google Map starts playing. I'm not great at creating videos yet, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice.

Educational Mashup Example Video