Using Vialogues in Your Classroom

| November 25, 2012

If you are searching for an interactive video social media space to help your classroom actively (and digitally) debate theoretical concepts that emerge when watching video, look no further than EdLab’s own Vialogues software. A combination of the words “video” and “dialogue,” Vialogues is an interactive social media tool developed specifically for educators looking to use video in a more dynamic way in their classrooms.

Who can open an account? You! Anyone can create and use a Vialogues account.

How do I get started? Easily. Click this link, choose “login” on the upper right hand corner of the screen, select “create an account,” and then fill in the information.

What can I do with Vialogues, now that I have this account? Vialogues allows you to post video, re-post or share existing video, or embed videos from YouTube onto the site. Once created, you can invite your students to watch the video and post live commentary. This commentary is saved as part of the video so that you can re-watch it and discuss it in class. The professor (i.e. the moderator) can post questions or create surveys at specific times within the video for a facilitated discussion. These video-dialogues can be made private or public and, if desired, can be re-posted or reused by others within the community of Vialogues. (You can also easily tweet or embed your vialogue on another website.)

Can you show me an example? Yes. First of all, see the top of this post. I embedded that video directly from the Vialogues site onto this one, and because EdLab software products are interoperable, you can interact with this video directly from this blog if you are logged in to Vialogues.

Additionally, Vialogue’s home page directs you immediately to two options: create or explore. To see hundreds of examples of vialogues, simply click “explore” to see thumbnail examples of past vialogues. Directly above these examples is a small link called “most active.” Click this to see videos with the most commentary. To search for videos on a certain theme, you can use the search bar which is displayed at the top center of the screen. This is also a useful tactic if you’d like to re-post an existing vialogue rather than upload a new video of your own.

[Click this image above to view it larger.]

I’m convinced! How do I create a vialogue? Now you’re going to select the other option on the main Vialogues page, “create.” Clicking this leads you to a very simple page asking you to either upload your own video, re-post an existing vialogue, or pull a video in from YouTube by pasting the URL. Next, add your descriptive terms, and click “create.” This will lead you to a new screen where you will choose whether to make the video private (your invitees need to be members of Vialogues; have your students create accounts on the first day of class) or public. If you decide against uploading this particular video, you can delete it by clicking the advanced tab down below, and click “delete.” Otherwise, click create and your video is live!

Now that I’ve made this video, I want to manage it. That’s reasonable. You can mange the settings, delete the video, delete the comments to the video, or embed questions or polls into the video. First, go to your own account settings to view your uploaded vialogues. Access to your account lives on the upper right hand section of the screen. Click your name, then “view profile” to see your vialogues. Now click the vialogue itself, and you’ll be in the screen where you and your students can interact with the video. Notice that right below the video itself is a comment box. Hit play on the video, and when you reach the moment where you’d like to pose a question, hit pause, type your comment in the box, then hit “post.”  Easy! If you’d like to add a poll, click the Q&A box also located underneath the video. Type in your question, and add your poll questions by following the prompts. If you want to change your privacy settings, click the very small “manage” link located below the comment box under the video. You’ll be back on the “manage settings” screen where you can adjust how your users see your video. You can also view responses to your poll here, close the video for future commentary, or delete the video.

[The yellow circle indicates the comment box. The yellow arrow directs you to where the comments appear once posted. Click this image to see it larger.]

Using Vialogues is fairly intuitive, but if any questions come up, there is a handy FAQ sheet at the very bottom of the every screen under “help.” And if you have questions not answered by the FAQ sheet, click the “contact us” link right next to the “help” link.

Happy vialoguing! (Is that a word? It is now.)