Using Video Annotation and Omeka in the Classroom

I am proposing a session to discuss using segmented and annotated video in the classroom. Through a NEH Office of Digital Humanities grant, I have built an Omeka plugin that takes the output of the Annotator’s Workbench (AWB), a digital video segmentation and annotation tool developed at Indiana University, and creates Omeka items from each segment and annotation in the AWB file. I created this plugin to allow instructors to more effectively and easily use annotated video in class. There are multiple ways that the AWB and Omeka can be used in the classroom with video. One way is that the instructor, say in a film studies class, can take scenes from a movie and provide annotation to the scenes for her students to review. Another use would be to give a movie to the students and ask them to provide annotations of certain scenes. In addition, with the AWB, the instructor can then comment on those annotations and return the comments to the student. Yet another approach would be to place the annotations of the students and/or the instructor in Omeka as items and create a web site. With the existing Scripto plugin, you could then collect comments from the other students in the class on the annotation of each other or on the instructor’s annotations through mediawiki, the open source wiki that Scripto uses.

This tool set also has potential for community based projects. Students or other members of a given community could collect audio and video interviews and use this tool set to segment and annotate to provide additional context, transcription and even translation for the interviews. By loading these annotations into Omeka, you have the opportunity to review, edit, and see how the material looks online. The material could be used in an exhibit built in Omeka or moved to a final production site.

I see a great deal of potential for video in the classroom and community based projects but the instructor or leaders of the project need a tool set to help them work more easily with video segmentation and annotation. I am hoping that the plugin I have developed will do this and I am interested in discussion the use of video, specifically video segmentation and annotation in the classroom.

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About William Cowan

I have about 20 years of enterprise system development both in the private sector and at Indiana University. I have extensive experience working with relational databases, working as a database administrator and/or managing database administrators at Millipore Corporation in Massachusetts and Alexsis Corporation and Proquest Corporation in Michigan. In addition at Proquest, I managed the business systems staff of about 30 members including developers, system designers, system architects, DBA’s and System Administrators. At Indiana University, I have been the project manager and system architect for several successful projects including Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis, a multi-year Mellon funded project, and the Ethnomusicalogy Multimedia project with Indiana University Press and Temple University Press, as well as leading development in the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. I am currently the Associate Director of Software Development Digital Libraries managing multiple projects and a development team of 6 to 8 systems analyst. I am also the principal investigator for an NEH Office of Digital Humanities start-up grant to create a video annotation plugin for Omeka that will allow the display of video segments plus annotation in Omeka and Omeka exhibits.

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