We’re happy to announce the newest addition to the Grockit social learning platform: Grockit Answers, a tool for hosting timely Q&A discussions around web videos. We started by designing this for our own videos, but quickly decided that it could have more impact if we expanded our scope a bit. So as of today, Grockit Answers works with any video hosted on YouTube or Vimeo.
There’s a wealth of educational videos available online, but the primary mode of interaction among viewers — short-form commenting — doesn’t do much to enhance or facilitate learning. When you’re trying to grok a challenging lecture from an AI course at Stanford or an open talk at MIT, you need more than comments. You need a way to ask a question about a particular point that confused you, or ask for a clarification or maybe a useful reference on something mentioned in the video. You really need a Q&A site, and you need to be able to attach each of your questions to a particular time in the video. You need Grockit Answers. Here’s a quick video clip (live Q&A discussion here). Feel free to ask questions about this video on Grockit Answers.
Built on Popcorn.js, a fantastic new HTML5 media framework for better connecting web videos to web pages, Grockit Answers displays each question and its answers at the exact point in the video that they are most relevant. As a viewer, some of the things that confuse you are are likely to be the same as what confused others before you. In a time-anchored Q&A on Grockit Answers, just as the question begins to form in your mind, it may magically pop up on the screen, along with a few great answers.
For the educators out there, I’m happy to say that we developed a number of additional features with you in mind. You can create a Q&A page on a video that only you and your students have access to, and you can moderate the conversation to get additional controls and deeper insight into what’s happening. Finally, and most exciting, you can add these Q&A pages to your own course websites (example), easily replacing links to YouTube or Vimeo videos with your moderated discussions. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this.
Start a Question & Answer page for any video on YouTube. Share it with your classroom or share it with your friends. And please, let us know what you think.