Educational Technology Review #3 Subject: “Next Vista”

The  Next Vista for learning website is listed on the FreeTech4Teachers.com website as one of several alternatives to the YouTube video hosting platform. The main benefit of using the Next Vista site is that it houses a growing array of curated videos on subjects, ideas, and information that may relevant to K-12 students without all of the distraction and possibly inappropriate content that may be found on Youtube. The videos are intended to jump start scholarly conversations and prime learning.

The Next Vista site is the brainchild of Rushton Hurley. Mr Hurley is the lead speaker and trainer for Next Vista for Learning. Mr Hurley has been a Japanese language teacher, a principal of an online high school, a teacher trainer, an educational technology researcher, and a school reform consultant.

 

NextVista.org believes “learning is stronger when it starts with an engaging introduction of each topic.” The website’s mission page states that, “With teachers and students from all over the world contributing content, it will get easier and easier to find the presentation a student needs to say, “I get it.” With the resources of the library available for free to anyone at any time, students will be in a good position to learn when they are most ready to do so. For teachers, the available videos can be used in the classroom to generate discussion, or even when planning lessons to generate ideas. Having a simple system for watching others’ work will strengthen professional development, which is another goal of NextVista.org”

The NextVista website meshes closely with the ISTE framework for students. ISTE’s 6 primary tenets are:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency
  4. Critical thinking, problem solving, decision making
  5. Digital citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts.

 

All the videos are “creative and innovative”. The sources are from scholars and students all over the world. The platform as a whole serves to foster research effort and increase information and subject matter fluency. Digital citizenship is fostered by encouraging people in countries all over the world to look at life, problems and opportunities outside their own immediate environments

The Next Vista platform also lines up with the  paradigm  described in the “About the Triple E” Created by Dr. Liz Kolb, University of Michigan”  Generally the Triple E requires that effective use of educational technology will Enhance, Engage, and Extend learning in ways that ensure learning goals are “met or exceeded”. Dr. Kolb makes the point that, “It is important to look for “time on task” engagement. By hosting a curated collection of education videos learning can be enhanced for all students who are tasked with using the platform. The menus of topics offer many choices that students and scholars are likely to find engaging and the “extension” of learning occurs because the platform is available anytime anywhere the internet is available and viewing content about one subject can lead to viewing topics about one ore more related subjects thereby broadening the scope of knowledge that a student may obtain.

The Next Vista web platform is effective in its mission. A curated simple and easy-to-use video reference library making accurate information available on dozen of topics for students and teachers alike is valuable resource for need to gain competence with or publish information in a video format by way of the internet.

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