Professor Jason Osder in his latest Lynda video.
Many professors teach students to embrace technology in the digital age, but Professor Jason Osder is taking the discussion one step further by teaching with a technology tool he produced himself.
Professor Osder recently had his fourth and fifth online training courses published with Lynda.com, the market leading online training library of software and other practical technology skills.
Through Lynda, professionals, students, or curious people can use the vast selection of training titles to watch a series of videos that can teach you a wide range of other technological skills. The “trainers,” such as Osder, narrate the videos and systematically demonstrate for the user how to use programs such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Digital Cameras, and what they can do.
He initially became involved with the project through connections with his business partner, who was already producing training videos for Lynda. Professor Osder felt the gig was an easy fit for him because “I move a mouse and talk most of the day anyway.”
Since the program naturally lends itself as an educational tool, Osder has been incorporating his and other Lynda videos as “reading” assignments for his students.
Osder co-teaches a Online Journalism Workshop course that prepares advanced students for multimedia web reporting. He said the Lynda videos privately “help the students that want to learn more,” which helps to solve both a learning and a curricular problem.
He said that students inherently progress at different rates. When some students are ahead of their classmates or want to learn at a more in-depth scale, then he has offered them books from his office library, but there were obvious physical limitations to that solution.
“I only have so many books, so how do you solve that problem?” he said.
Osder has now been suggesting or assigning Lynda videos to his classes, so he could teach with the assumption that the students were already at the same place knowledge-wise.
“It allows me to focus more on the why and less on the how,” he said.
The development of this teaching method happened organically because he is able to assign Lynda videos in the same class whose subject matter inspired him to make the titles initially. For instance, he recently released a video focused on using YouTube, which many students need to be proficient with by the end of the semester for his course.
While many SMPA professors regularly publish their research in books or scholarly journals, Osder enjoys the process of recording the Lynda titles more than writing a textbook, which he has done as well.
“Book writing is laborious...This way I get to go to Southern California for a week,” he said, where the videos are recorded.
Osder said there is a problem with writing textbooks about software because once the information is outdated, then a new edition has to be published. There is no way to catch up with outdated textbooks fast enough.
With Lynda, he said, “I just have to record some voice and record some video, and they’ll change it.”
All five of Professor Osder’s Lynda videos about using YouTube, Vimeo, OmniGraffe, and Final Cut Pro can either through free highlights on YouTube or with a subscription on the Lynda website (users can still access some content on the website for free, as well).