Simply Speaking is a series of brief videos created by Teaching and Learning with Technology that explain technology topics in everyday language and with a little humor. They are modeled after the “… in plain english” videos that explain more general technologies such as Google Docs.

Most of these videos were created by the same team: Allan Gyorke drafts the script with a subject expert, Pat Besong turns the script into a storyboard of images and animation, Chris Stubbs provides the voice talent, and then Pat animates the audio recording, captions the video, and shares it online. All are under a Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commercial, Attribution, Share Alike license.

Flipping the Classroom—Simply Speaking

Flipping the Classroom is an educational approach that is gaining momentum.  In many traditional courses, students passively listen to lectures during class time and working on assignments on their own.  In a flipped course, the lecture content is recorded.  Students watch it before coming to class and then class time is used for engaging activities such as discussion, debates, research, and problem solving.  This approach has its roots in other educational approaches such as problem-based learning, active learning, course podcasting, and hybrid course design.

LionSearch—Simply Speaking

LionSearch was created to explain the advantages of using this new way to do a single search across many subject databases that are managed by the University Libraries. Emily Rimland from the University Libraries was the primary subject expert on this one with additional input from Binky Lush.

VoiceThread—Simply Speaking

VoiceThread can be difficult to explain. Essentially, it is a service that makes it easy to put an annotated presentation online and it lets other people add their own comments. In this video, we explain what VoiceThread is, how it works, and how it can be used for teaching and learning purposes. Matt Meyer was the content expert on this one and wrote most of the script.

Cloud Computing Security—Simply Speaking

This video was created because there are a lot of advantages to collaborating on files in the cloud, but there are also some risks. In this video, we essentially encourage people to use services like Google Docs for low-stakes information, but not for critical information like password lists. Allan Gyorke was the subject expert on this one, with input from Madge Ludwig from the ITS Security Operations and Services group.

Phishing Scams, Protecting Your Online Accounts, and Peer to Peer File Sharing—Simply Speaking

These were the first three videos that we created. The goal was to provide students understand some basic ways of protecting themselves from phishing scams, avoiding bad practices like sharing passwords, and the problems that can arise from illegal file sharing. Where possible, we try to give students a reasonable alternative instead of taking a “just say no” stance. The subject experts for these videos were Kathy Kimball, Madge Ludwig, and Kathy Deck from the Security Operations and Services group.

Phishing Scams

Protecting Your Online Accounts

Peer to Peer File Sharing


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