(I am posting here because this is a general discussion, not a Using Moodle technical problem! ) I have tended for long to convert videos (such as the wmvs made by teachers on Windows Movie Maker) to FLV. But increasingly with people using iphones and ipads I am wondering what video file format will suit everyone and will still embed nicely in Moodle...what do others use? Mp4?
I'm bumping this question because my org has the same concern.
Windows, just today, took a flier on Flash.
So, what's the buzz?
Plus, I *always* follow Mary around.*
Hey Ben What does "took a flier on flash" mean? (two nations divided by a common language etc etc...)
I expect he is referring to the news that Windows 8 won't be supporting flash in the new Metro interface: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14949869
Evidently, some flash will still be supported, but it might be more effort for users.
I'm guilty of being too confident in my glib-osity. I did not mean "take a flier/flyer," but "take a pass."
Excellent question, Mary. I don't think there is a solution yet. Relevant Moodle.docs page, which you already know.
MOV is the 'universal' format for an exclusively Apple ecosystem. Browsers on non-Apple computers can be 'fixed' with Quicktime plug-in, with variable results. Some phones can be 'fixed' with PictPocket.
MP4 is the most widely used and compatible format for video in and out of the browser, if we ignore IOS (ipads, ipods, iphones). iPads (which do not natively view MP4) can 'fixed' with a VLC app.
Nothing suits everyone at the moment. Technicians historically rail against Apple and Adobe over incompatibilities between Quicktime versions, security holes in Flash, and the horrible Apple Updater and Adobe Updater software. Media producers despair over the quality limitations of these formats. Apple (Ipads), Adobe (Flash), Google (Youtube), MPEG LA (H.264) and W3C (HTML5) are each responsible for part of the problem. They each have a huge, undiscriminating user-base, and they are vying for different conclusions.
Do you really mean the Apple products ipod and ipad only? Or do these terms stand for smart phones and tablets in general?
There were times in this community under the slogan, "Everybody is flashing, let's flash!". I'm happy that this seem to be over.
My question, assuming that we are talking about a single video format for all three kinds of devices: PC (Linux, Mac, Windows), tablets and smart phones, could one say that it is prudent to stay with the open formats?
Hi Vosvanath. I was thinking just about ipads and iphones but actually now you say it, I guess I mean all tablets/smart phones too -of which I have NONE so I can't experiment So yes- I am looking for the best video format that will embed in Moodle that will fit everything!
I'm quite sure that my answer will not help you a lot to chose the best format for your video on Moodle, but it's a cool info for all people concerne by video streaming.
I read recently that Adobe decide to bypass the iOS limitations for the FLV and F4V video format by integrating a new fonctionality to there streaming serveur (HTTP Live Streaming). I dont understand all the technical questions on that, but in essence, the streaming serveur simply recognise the browser of the user and give him a video format compatible to his device. You encore the video just one time and the serveur do the reste of the job.
Here are more infos: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediastreaming/
Hope that could help someone...
"Every SlideShare user will benefit from having slides in HTML5. Whether you are a teacher who wants your students to view their slides (some of who are using iPads), a conference speaker who wants the audience to follow along with the slides, a salesperson who wants to show your sales slides on a mobile device, or any SlideShare user who wants to send a link to a friend without worrying about whether they can view the content or not – this change will help you." http://blog.slideshare.net/2011/09/27/slideshare-html5/
Found in: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/09/28/0351210/slideshare-ditches-flash-rebuilds-site-in-html5.
@Visvanath - Some good points, well made. In my opinion, PPT style presentations should never have been converted into Flash in the first place. I think the only reason for doing so was that everyone wants to publish SCORM packages and rapid elearning tools always publish them in Flash.
One thing that Moodlers on this thread might find useful to know is that MP4 is almost identical to MOV and M4V. MOV was the original Quicktime media container and MP4 and M4V are spinnoffs from it. You can change the file extensions on them, using .mov, .mp4 and .m4v interchangeably, and they'll still work.
Microsoft and Apple seem pretty set on only supporting H.264 as their native browser CODEC. H.264 is owned by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and at some point in the not-too-distant future, they're going to start charging royalties for using it.
As developers and educators, we have the option of requiring that learners use browsers that support open source CODECs such as OGG (Firefox) and WebM (Google Chrome). The alternative is to get trapped into serving the interests of MPEG's, Microsoft and Apple's shareholders because there's no viable alternative left. Perhaps, if there's too much of a push from them, govts. and universities can respond by providing Ubuntu on laptops and mobile devices instead of blithely subsidising Apple's (and maybe Microsoft's soon?) long term plan of getting everyone onto iOS by supplying universities, schools and colleges with their proprietary software that locks users into iTunes and is unsuitable for learning.
The technical part is a running topic in the "General developer forum". Here is a sample:
- Video format vs. browser matrix for Moodle 2.1 http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=181504&parent=790404
- ClickView® video embed http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=178188
- Video deployment in Moodle 2.0.3+ http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=175164
- Media Player module now supports HTML5 video http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=168452
- Update on FLV Player activity module http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=142237
- Implications of video-tag in Firefox 3.5 http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=127102
I have a non-technical question though. The shift from the classroom to the computer monitor is already a limitation, even if the monitor is full size. I know of a class on Scientific Writing, where upto 20 students write a "paper" based on two given published works. In the second round they go through all the 22 papers, select a few, and write a second paper based on them. You can think of the practical limitations doing that online! Now my question is, how would one tackle that with smart phones.
My person opinion, Visvanath, comes back to what I always used to tell teachers when I was an Advisory Teacher a few years ago - If the technology doesn't enhance the learning, don't use it.
In this case I would suggest that trying to type out a paper on a smart phone is actually going to obstruct the learning rather than enhance it. I realise that smart phones and the like make taking the learning anywhere, outside the classroom, possible and even in some cases essential, but to type any significant amount of work on anything smaller than a tablet/netbook cannot enhance the learning (but that's only in my opinion and other people may well have different views). Most of the negative reviews about the netbook hardware format when they came out were to do with how difficult it would be to type anything longer than a brief email on them.
Now, personally evven with my fat fingers, I never had a major problem with typing on my netbook, and maybe other people feel they could type an academic paper up on a smart phone, but my point would be that you shouldn't try to make the activity fit the hardware. If you have an activity that needs lots of typing, expect to do it with a proper keyboard. If you want an activity that will run on smartphones etc. plan a suitable activity for them.
One suggestion might be that, rather than writing a full second paper on the smart phones, the students could write a brief review of each of their peers' original papers. That would (perhaps) break the typing task into more manageable chunks for the hardware? Perhaps this could be achieved in a forum type activity with an open discussion of the various papers - that style of writing (blogging/tweeting etc.) is common on mobiles. My understanding is that scientific writing is often/usually/always the subject of peer review and this kind of open forum might lead to other teaching points about how you carry out a constructive review of other people's writing as well?
Just one of, I'm sure, hundreds of varying points of view. Hope it is constructive for you
I agree with your premise, "If the technology doesn't enhance the learning, don't use it". Just the other day a teacher started a presentation saying, "I use this web platform, simply because it helps me in my teaching", which amounts to the same thing.
But I should have stated that this class on Scientific Writing was just an example which came to my mind talking about the limitations of the computer screen. It was a long time ago, before the era of gadgets. The lecturer wanted to streamline the feedback process: Each work gets his feedback first, the corrected version then gets peer reviewed. It was clear from the beginning that the process of reading and comprehension can not be done on the (laptop) monitor. Imagine reading 22 "papers" in parallel! The classroom offers much more freedom, like poster sessions, round tables, ...
One more thing: Only the original 2 - 3 papers were authentic. The students were not experts in the subject matter, they were future journalists, who were trying to understand the process of "scientific discourse" by simulating it. Their "papers" were short, 1 - 2 pages, whereas the originals about 10 pages.
And it was obvious that nobody is going to meddle with their writing process. You know, even into the 21st century still fountain pens are being sold.
Let me state the question differently: Since a couple of years I read in the news, "in state X every child gets an iPod in the kindergarten", or "University Y prescribes the students iPads", etc. Do you know what the recipients do with these equipment? How does the learning look like? How does the teaching adjust to all these? Any "productivity" measurements before and after?
Well, on a more general basis I can give you a few concrete examples, although as it's the age group I have worked with, these are based on Primary school children rather than universities.
A few years ago I ran a project (in a Primary school classroom - Year4, 8-9 year olds) where I had one laptop between 2 children - rather than one each. For the majority of the year I planned activities that either the children did in pairs on the computers, or that children could do in parallel, some using IT and some using more traditional pen and paper - all this was mixed in with 'traditional' pen/paper activies as well. After 5 years and having left the school I do not have test scores etc. to back up my comments and to give you actual 'measurements', but my experience over that year was that:
- most of the class made higher than expected progress in all 'academic' areas (none of the children fell behind - all made progress, but for a small number it was no higher than expected),
- social and behavioural skills improved because of the level of collaboration,
- independence in learning improved - along with some of the children being able to argue very well as to why they should (or in some cases should not!) use the computers for a particular activity and
- attendance improved.
Unfortunately budgets did not permit the experience to be extended at the time.
In a more recent example, from a conversation with a secondary school colleague recently, one local primary school has recently put in a massive investment in IT, including one laptop per child. The first cohort of children to leave the school after using these laptops for the year (I do not know what level of use they made of them but would assume it had been quite high) started secondary school last September (2010). At Primary, they had achieved very well, teacher appraisals and test scores related to high standards of learning being achieved. Unfortunately, the secondary school had nothing like the same level of resourcing and some of these children 'hit a brick wall' in terms of their progress in the first year of secondary (no suggestion that they went backwards or anything, just that they were not able to continue the increased pace of progress that had been demonstrated).
My experience then suggests that where the activities are well targeted and use the IT resources, whatever they are, appropriately, children (and I would assume from my reading that this extends to higher education and universities/colleges as well) perform well and often higher than expected with the use of those resources. However, the inconsistent provision is where issues arise. So as always it becomes about the money .
If the money is there to make the provisions, and if the ability and willingness is there in the teaching staff to adapt their teaching to suit the technology, then the technology can definitely aid progress. It helps, not only develop the IT skills and proficiency that future generations need (have in advance of their teachers in some cases!) but also many of the wider skills of reasoning, problem solving and independent learning, especially when used alongside other teaching/learning methods in a thought out and considered mix, rather than just because its there.
An interesting discussion - and if anyone has any actual study figures/results, please post them or a link to them. I for one would be very interested.
- The old discussion updated
- Something new in the horizon