Christopher Baycura of ESF's Instructional Technology Service, and Scott Turner, filming for a production film for Physics of Life.
Photo by Terry Ettinger
In the past few years, I have been learning the dark arts of electronic media production. In this, I have had the invaluable help of the talented staff of ESF's Instructional Technology Service.
For the most part, this has involved producing a series of instructional videos for my course Physics of Life, which can be seen at SUNYESFTV, our YouTube channel, and at ESF's iTunesU site. This began with simple videotaped lectures, but has evolved into more highly produced mini-documentaries on topics that range from structure of sounds to water strider locomotion.
I also spend a lot of time evangelizing to my colleagues about electronic media in education. The world of higher education is changing and changing fast, fueled largely by increasingly sophisticated on-line challengers to higher ed's legacy model of content delivery, namely students sitting in a room and listening to us. Much of this is done badly, is driven by cost considerations, and much of it threatens to subvert what we have known since Socrates to be the most effective educational medium: students and scholars sitting together in a room and having a face-to-face conversation. The challenge we face will be how to use new tools in electronic media to preserve and recover this tradition in higher education.