Tag Archives: video

Is this a dagger which I see before me? No, it’s online Shakespeare videos

Is this a dagger which I see before me? Macbeth (II, i, 33)

You can hear this famous line, among many others, in one of 37 new online Shakespeare plays now available to the Middlebury community. These full-length plays are based on newly restored master recordings and include closed-captioning. Performed originally by the BBC, the plays feature well-known British actors, including Alan Rickman, a.k.a. Professor Severus Snape. Here’s a short sample (from YouTube). Our full-length videos are here.

Does tagging content make it easier to find with search? No.

I’ve received this question from several people now. Below are two videos from Matt Cutts who works on Google’s Webspam team explaining how tagging content mostly does not affect their search results. This also means that tagging largely will not affect how results appear on Middlebury’s site, since we use Google to provide our search results.

Tags

Tag Clouds

This does not mean that you shouldn’t tag content at all. Tags can still be useful for humans who want to find other posts and pages on a topic. However, if you want your page to be easier to find, your time is better invested in making sure that the content is well written, structured and relevant to a particular topic.

Weekly Web Development Round-up April 18-22, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments. Continue reading

Website Improvements #7: HTML5 Video

Videos on our website, like the new chapter in the Aunt Des story that was put up yesterday, are now available on more devices. We’re using the new <video> and <audio> tags that are part of HTML5, to enable site visitors to watch videos from MiddMedia (our local, streaming media server gives all Middlebury users space to host videos of any quality and length) and YouTube without needing to have the Adobe Flash plugin installed.

This feature has been rolled out for MiddMedia videos on Drupal and WordPress and YouTube videos on Drupal.

Don’t worry if you’re not using one of these browsers or devices. You’ll see the same Flash video player that was there yesterday.

You will now see your browser’s built-in HTML5 video player for MiddMedia videos if you are using one of these browsers or devices:

  • Safari
  • an iPad or iPhone

The HTML5 audio player for MiddMedia videos appears if you are using one of these browsers or devices:

  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • an iPad or iPhone

To see a list of the supported browsers for video in YouTube, visit their HTML5 Video Player site. You can sign up there to opt-in to their HTML5 video player trial, if you like. Note: the site lists several browsers currently in their “beta” development phase. We recommend that you do not install these browsers as features of our site may not yet work in them.

Some restrictions may apply

The technology to support these features is very new and constantly changing. We’ll keep rolling out support to new browsers and devices as it becomes available and the experience is at least as good as what you get from the Flash player. For instance, Chrome currently supports HTML5 video, but we decided not to enable it for that browser because the fullscreen button doesn’t work. Firefox also supports HTML5 video, but in a different video format that we don’t currently produce for videos uploaded to MiddMedia (WebM or OGG).

Lastly, you might notice that some of the MiddMedia videos on our site cannot be played on devices like your iPad or iPhone. The method used to encode these videos didn’t produce a video in a format that these devices recognize. However, the majority of MiddMedia videos do work and we wanted to give you the opportunity to watch some of them, rather than none of them.

Video tutorial quick start

Joy and I created some short video tutorials on finding music CDs in MIDCAT, and since we posted them here we’ve been asked by various people within LIS to share what tools we used to create them. We were looking for a quick way to create screen capture videos with audio (aka screencasts). Here’s what we used: Continue reading

Faculty Innovators Tell Us What They Need

Our first priority with the Segue from Segue project is to make sure there are technology solutions available to meet the needs of as many faculty, students and staff as possible. That said, we would like to also be able to support innovative uses of technology, particularly those innovations that may eventually be useful to the broader community.

To this end, the Curricular Technology team invited a number of faculty who are innovators to show us how they have been using technology and tell us what they need.  Faculty who participated included Jeff Byers (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Hector Vila (CTLR), Enrique Garcia (Spanish), Hope Tucker (Film and Media Culture) and Roberto Veguez (Spanish).  A number of academic liaisons also participated in this session.  To learn more about what these faculty have been doing, see:

Segue from Segue » Presentations by Faculty Innovators