UPDATE 16 OCTOBER 2008: PLEASE SEE THE POST “Let the content be free! (following CC terms)”
It’s late in the evening prior to opening day for the 2008 K-12 Online Conference. Thanks to many hours of work (not by me but by others working behind the scenes) the 2008 pre-conference keynote is scheduled to “go live” at 12 pm GMT tomorrow, October 13th, as originally announced.
Before the pre-con presentation goes live, however, as conveners we want to share some information about how we are changing our internal processes for transcoding and publishing conference presentation files this year. In addition, we want to address an issue which came up last year and may come up again: Cross-posting conference presentation files to other servers.
TRANSCODING AND PUBLISHING
As in the past, all conference presentations will be linked here from our conference blog and will be actually hosted by the College of William and Mary on their servers. There are two primary reasons for this: accessibility and archival. Many school organizations utilize content filters which block many video sharing websites. By providing all conference materials on our main k12onlineconference.org website as well as hosted files from the William and Mary server, school organizations should be able to “whitelist” (unblock) both the k12onlineconference.org domain and the wm.edu domain and provide access for educators and students to all conference content. The only exception to this is some of the wiki sites utilized to provide additional information for the conference are on other domains. (On Wikispaces.com) By archiving and curating all the primary presentation files of the conference, K-12 Online seeks to provide an ongoing and perpetual resource for educators worldwide interested in utilizing conference materials individually or with groups. If we were to NOT archive these presentation files in a single location, a strong possibility would exist that some files could be moved or server accounts could be de-activated, resulting in a lack of access to conference materials. As in past years, we hope to provide the greatest level of accessibility for conference materials while simultaneously ensuring presentations are archived for future generations.
This year, conveners are utilizing a pro Blip.tv account to upload and transcode presenter-submitted video files. Our Blip.tv account transcodes files into mp3 audio format as well as m4v iPod video format. We anticipate this will save a significant amount of convener time in compressing and prepping files for sharing, since files have been shared in a variety of formats as well as sizes in the past. Files uploaded and transcoded on Blip are hidden (made private) by the convener uploading them. After files are transcoded on Blip they are (as in the past) going to be uploaded individually to the W&M server, and those links (to mp3 and m4v formatted files) will be published on the conference blog when each presentation goes live.
In the past, a single convener (Lani Ritter Hall) formatted and created all 41 presentation posts for the conference blog. This was an INCREDIBLY large and time-consuming task. This year, individual strand conveners are composing and posting presentation posts for the 10 presentations in their respective strands. All presentation files, however (both mp3 and m4v) are being uploaded to the W&M server by a single convener, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. This situation is required because of server access permissions permitted by the university.
Because of travel and access constraints (Sheryl is in New Zealand and pays for bandwidth by the minute in her hotel) we are going to publish Dr. Stephen Heppell’s keynote tomorrow with links to our blip.tv website. His presentation files will be available for download from the W&M servers by the end of the week. We apologize in advance if your school organization does not permit access to the blip.tv website, and you are therefore not able to download and view the pre-conference keynote tomorrow from your school network. We do not anticipate having to initially publish other conference presentation links from our blip.tv site, however. Remaining presentation links should all be from W&M.
We are pleased, however, that publishing via blip.tv will permit us to not only provide links to a QuickTime (.mov) version and audio-only (.mp3) version, but also a Flash-video transcoded version which will play in a web browser. This version will play from the blip.tv domain, however, so if blip.tv is blocked on your school network it will not be accessible for you. Again, we plan to address these accessibility challenges as we have in the past by publishing all content to and linking from the W&M servers. The pre-conference keynote availability on the W&M server will be delayed, however, until later this week.
CROSS-POSTING CONFERENCE PRESENTATION FILES
Last year, particularly at the start of the conference, several people offered and asked for conference presentation files to be cross-posted to different servers for downloading. This process of “mirroring” files for download (or more accurately “file shadowing”) on different servers is common for many software downloads.
Because of our need and desire to compile server access statistics for our conference which are as accurate as possible, WE POLITELY DISCOURAGE participants and others from providing mirrored, alternative, or file shadowed copies of K-12 Online presentations on other servers other than W&M. Content in presentations for the 2008 conference is explicitly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. For the reason just mentioned, however, file mirroring is discouraged during and following the conference.
We are looking forward to another outstanding year of creative idea sharing and collaboration with K-12 Online! Please remember to forward and share our conference marketing flyer with all the educators you know, so as many people as possible can join in the learning which is just STARTING here for the 2008 conference. 🙂