Monthly Archives: May 2015

Best Practices with DIY Video: CAMERA!

Source: Best Practices with DIY Video: CAMERA!

Some great practical tips for recording video – the number of times that I’ve seen people sitting or standing metres away from the camera still astonishes me. Make use of the screen space that you have, please.

Try-a-tool challenge Week 3 – LessonPaths and Blendspace

This challenge is about a couple more content curation tools – LessonPaths and Blendspace.

On first glance they don’t seem as rich or interactive as Ted.Ed but I’ll see what I’m able to put together with them.

Here is the explanatory video from about LessonPaths

In practice, LessonPaths was simple enough to use but not educationally inspiring. It lets you create – or rather curate – a playlist of online resources including weblinks, your own documents, your own created HTML pages and a basic true/false or multichoice quiz.

The weblinks embed in the tool (which I thought was frowned up on web design terms), the documents are also embedded but sit quite nicely, the HTML editor is basic, allowing text and images and the quiz has a nice interface but only provides the most basic of feedback (and no option for custom feedback)

There is an option provided to embed the lesson elsewhere but this just provides a sliderbox with links to each section that open a new window in the LessonPaths site.

In fairness, LessonPaths seems targeted more at a primary school level user and I’m looking at this from a higher ed perspective. While it is easy enough to use and visually acceptable, I don’t think it offers a particularly rich learning experience.

The lesson that I created can be found at

This is the Blendspace overview from

Blendspace appears to come from more educationally minded developers – they are mindful of grading and tracking student progress and provide options to search a range of education focused sites in the tool. Ultimately it is still a content curation tool.

It does have some other nice features including the ability to add HTML source code to the webpages you can create (I was able to embed the LessonPaths lesson that I just created to one section), you can link your Dropbox and Google Drives to the tool making it easy to import content from there and Blendspace also provides a browser plugin that enables you to bookmark URLs directly to your Blendspace account. You can also search Flickr, Educreations and Gooru (not familiar with the last two) directly from the tool.

The interface is elegantly simple and very drag-and-drop oriented.

Users can create accounts either as teachers or students and teachers can generate course codes so that student progress (comments and likes/dislikes on resources and answers to quiz questions) can be tracked.

The resource that I created using Blendspace can be found at

As I mentioned, both are relatively simple tools lacking deep interactivity but might be useful in creating more stimulating resource collections than a typical LMS file repository. In terms of understanding and supporting educators, Blendspace is streets ahead of LessonPaths.