Knowmia is a teacher community that is focused on and based on video lessons to be shared among both teachers and students. There is a website where teachers can save their lessons; import material from YouTube, Vimeo, and Prezi; share them with others; and access others’ shared lessons; and there is an iPad app that allows for lesson creation. They also have in beta an Assignment Wizard, which seems to allow interactivity to be added to lessons (questions, etc.) whose data can be tracked by the teacher (similar, it sounds like, to Ted.Ed but, it seems, with more versatility as Ted.Ed can only interact with YouTube videos; see here for my take on Ted.Ed).

Knowmia seems to have a lot of potential. The idea of the community is intriguing in that it collects already made videos for teachers to search (yes, YouTube does the same but there’s a lot more chaff to go through there to get to the wheat), and it seems to be very flexible in that I can create my own lessons using the iPad app (similar to other flipping apps) or I can useĀ  already existing material on common sites (Prezi, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). The Assignment Wizard seems to almost take an iMovie approach to a lesson, i.e. you build a single video out of clips, some of which might be pre-existing clips (YouTube, your own lessons, etc.), some of which are the questions that the Assignment Wizard lets you create. They questions can’t be integrated with or overlaid on a video but can follow, precede, etc. Not quite the gamechanger I was hoping for but an interesting possibility.

I used the Knowmia iPad app to create a lesson. Although the interface was a bit busy at first, once I got used to it it was very easy to use and very user friendly (some improvements here over Explain Everything). The left column and bottom column, with the ‘Create Step’ and ‘Add Prop’ buttons is somewhat counterintuitive, but once you confirm that indeed ‘step’ is slide and ‘prop’ is media the interface is very easy and very quick. Another nice feature that took a bit to get used to was the Knowmia will pause the recording as it does something add in a picture or slide.

 

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Perhaps the only downside to Knowmia is its proprietary nature. As far as I can tell, it holds everything on its site and students access everything through its site. This is fine if you (or I or a school) is going to commit to it but as an add-on it seems an unnecessary extra account for students to have. I understand their perspective and its focus on community and sharing but such a focus requires a commitment, a commitment that I might not be willing to make because of all of the other accounts that both I and my students are now juggling.

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