Today, I met a representative from Nortel Networks today who has been marketing the Nortel Networks Kidz Online resource. It’s a great set of resources with video-based tutorials and lesson plans covering topics such as 2D and 3D animation, producing digital audio and video, advanced Powerpoint skills, security, ethics and safety on the Internet, web creation and several others. It’s a rich, high-quality and FREE resource which I highly recommend.
However, in saying this, the tutorials are tied in tightly with the proprietary Windows Media Player/Internet Explorer formats, and while I can download the videos and play them on my Windows Media Player on my Mac, I basically have to use a PC and IE to get the full effect (e.g., viewer note commentary). Yes, it’s a great resource which I will use with my undergraduate students, however I really question why any educational data has to be tied so closely to a particular proprietary format when there are so many other options, other platforms and other users to consider.
Thanks for bringing this resource to my attention, Alec. I’ll add my voice to yours in asking that resources should be based on open standards that do not exclude anyone who might be interested from using the resource. As you know, I teach in a school with not a PC in sight; this limits the utility of these resources for my students within the school.
To address these issues and further embed technology into teacher Professional Development and Core Curriculum subjects, Nortel LearniT was created. The new site is being designed to support multiple platforms and offer new features such as dynamic lesson plans that link state and provincial standards/expectations, dynmaic linking of relevant content, as well as support for RealVideo in addition to MediaPlayer.
The site will be launched the last week of June 2005 – hope you will visit http://www.NortelLearniT.org. All the content will continue to be free.