On this blog, I’ve been focused mostly on the aggregation and delivery of content for credit. But in putting together a blended learning curriculum, non-credit materials can be as important. Teachers and learners need simple ways to aggegrate high quality video content from bona fide sources. YouTube and other video aggegrators simply have too much noise (e.g., dancing cats, sneezing pandas, kooky rants).
Into this arena, FastCast is offering a new model for content aggregation. They envision a single website where anyone interested in bona fide news content can assemble a personalized channel on a specific topic or geographic location.
Here’s how FastCast describes its service:
FastCast offers an efficient and convenient way to watch a personalized, local newscast anywhere, anytime on your mobile device. With the app, you select topics of interest and touch one button that immediately launches a personalized newscast of short video segments summarizing the top stories. So in 3 minutes, you could get caught up on 12 stories in a variety of topics without a lot of effort. Instead of shifting (sic) through layers of information or multiple screens, users get the news headlines they care about in a way that is easy to access and digest.
In practical terms, a learner could put together a channel focusing on a specific area of study, such as immigration in western Massachusetts. Each day, the student could visit the website and view a personalized news stream based on these topics. But unlike YouTube, the content would be restricted to bona fide news sources. Pretty cool.