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Friday, March 28, 2008

YouTube Criminal Justice: Evaluating the Educational Value of Instructional Resources on YouTube

Entire courses can be found on YouTube and Google Video, some as a part of an open courseware initiative. Most videos, however, are organized by tags or by the username of the individual posting the video. Descriptions are helpful, as are the responses to the videos, which add a viral element. So, out of this seething primordial ooze of inspiration, content, and the desire to connect, how does the best instructional material manifest? How and when can it be best used in courses for e-learning, including mobile delivery?


Texas Criminal Justice System
The narrator begins with "The Texas Criminal Justice System is broken -- we will examine the reasons why." Provocative, yes. The presentation is not as dynamic as it could be. Imagine 26 minutes of blue-background powerpoints. The presenter has a very obvious agenda, and very strong biases. This could be very useful in a course that asks students to take a position or debate an issue.

Prison Interview with a GangBanger
Dr. Renford Reese, Associate Professor from Cal-Poly Pomona discusses the impact of criminal justice policies on African American males, and his books, Prison Race

General Strain Theory - Dr. Robert Agnew
Six-part series, typical "sage on stage" presentation, with Dr Agnew behind the podium. He has a powerpoint presentation, too. This is rather technical content, but could be quite interesting for learners who want to examine explanations about criminal behavior in society. Why Do Criminals Offend?: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency

Macho Politics - Dr. Liz Elliot
Two-part series exploring current attitudes about getting tough on crime, and on attitudes expressed by newspapers with respect to gangs. Informal presentation, a kind of "fireside chat" ambience. Clear, conversational, and useful when bringing together theory, case studies, and current sociological situations and conditions. Pretty light when considered alone, but in conjunction with textbooks, she rehumanizes the elearning space.

Prison Nation -- National Geographic
Entire nation behind bars. The program addresses the notion that the gangs run the prisons. Very professional, very alarming. There is a heartening and encouraging note at the end, with a discussion of the positive impact of education on individuals. Warehousing, in contrast, creates very angry individuals. With respect to instructional value, it really depends on how / why the this video is being presented, and the learning goals. It's a supplement.

Stanford Prison Experiment
Discusses one of the most notorious experiments in human psychology. What controls human behavior? A negative environment? Inner values?

Interview with Prof. Zimbardo, who writes about the Stanford Experiments in The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Very thought-provoking and perfect for a "taking a position" essay. Can also be used to identify thesis statement, abstract and overviews, etc. The value of this series of videos rests upon the way that the learners are asked to approach the assignment, and how they are asked to use the materials. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

This is a video in which Susan (the Corgi) discusses the future of e-learning and how videos can be used with mobile learning (hybrid, etc.).

Excellence in College Teaching and Learning: Classroom and Online Instruction

Recent Publications of Note

Learning Review:
Excellent review of elearning from Argentina. In Spanish. Very informative, first-rate articles and materials.

Flex E-News: From the Australian Flexible Learning Network.

Symposium of Note
NMC Symposium on Mashups:

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