After a Blackboard folder copy lost all of the video files and images last week, and running out of free screencast space simultaneously, I decided to just take the plunge and buy my own server space for video media on screencast (50GB).

I’m moving all of my calculus videos there so that next time Blackboard is “glitchy” (which seems to be a lot), I don’t have to reload 45 10-MB files again.

Well, the reason I’m telling you this is that when I bought the space, I reorganized my existing material into folders. And when you do that, all the links change (which I didn’t realize). So if you tried to watch a WebAssign video in the last 24 hours, the links were broken. But now I’ve repaired all of those links to insert the new links.

The moral of this story… start with organized folders from the first time you load new media, or you’ll regret it later. : )

How am I justifying this investment of $129.50 a year.

  1. I don’t think we’ll be using Bb forever, in which case I’ll have to move all that content again.
  2. It’s really my content, and if I was to switch jobs I would want to take it with me.
  3. It took my 8 hours to reload all the videos from one chapter. If you do the math ($129.50/8) that works out to approximately $16 an hour. Would that wasted time (if I had to do, say, an entire class…) be worth $16 an hour to me to get back? Yup.
  4. For students in non-internet classes, I can email a link for a video that will help them. I cannot email an entire video. Even if I could, I couldn’t guarantee they could figure out how to play it. Most folks can follow a link.
  5. Not all the students that I would want to “help” with a video are enrolled in a Bb class, so they would have no access if all the videos live there.

I’m beginning to see how we’re moving to a subscription-based model of software and computing. I am growing weary of all the time I spend patching and reinstalling Microsoft and Adobe products (I must have to reinstall some part of Office or an Adobe program at least once a month). These companies both produce expensive software… you think they could get it right on the first try. If a subscription to the software meant that it always was compatible, updated, and working, I’d consider it seriously.

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