December’s free cool web resource is Graspr: The Instructional Video Network. This website features free, high quality instructional videos. I’ve browsed YouTube for videos on everything from labor breathing techniques to woodworking, and this is much better! No more wading through random clips of people taping themselves falling off their exercise bikes! All the videos on Graspr are 100% FREE (of course, to be included in my eZine!), but the website shares ad revenues with the video producers. This opens a great opportunity for educators with a little tech savvy who want to share their wealth of knowledge online (and maybe even make some $$).
My primary interest, though, is using this as a resource for the classroom. Although it doesn’t show on its home page, Graspr’s largest category (in numbers of videos) appears to be Education. The biggest drawback is that Graspr seems dominated by a few prolific producers (CullensABCs has almost 450 videos about preschool education, and TheQuiltingCoach has over 100,000 views). YouTube’s strength is its ability to aggregate eyeballs and videos by being a household name. Graspr also doesn’t have the search engine strength of being owned by Google or Yahoo! It looks to me like a calm pool of quality on the internet that has the potential to gather strength if it can get its name out there and diversify its producers.
Farrell Ink’s review of Graspr (out of 5 stars):
USER FRIENDLY: 4 stars. Similar features to YouTube with ratings, comments, your own webpage to collect videos you like, and plenty of ways to discover related content. This was 5 stars, but then I discovered FunnyorDie.com which has autoplay, voting, and beats all other video sites I’ve seen in the USER FRIENDLY category.
CONTENT: 3 stars. I wish I could rate this higher, because you definitely don’t have to worry about accidentally watching garbage. The quality seems present, but it doesn’t seem like there’s ENOUGH to really cover all the bases for all the things you’d want to learn. But maybe some of you readers can add content and help expand the site’s offerings!
EASE OF IMPLEMENTATION: 4 stars. There are tons of ways to use this website in the classroom, library, computer lab, or at home. A teacher or students can collect relevant videos, create and post videos for use, use videos in lectures and presentations, use for group projects…use your imagination! It definitely has educators in mind, with plenty of great tutorials that can help even tech-shy adult students navigate the site.