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Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Wed, 2016-05-04 16:02

Yesterday I ran into U.S. Department of Education's Ed Tech Developer's Guide published in April 2015 and was excited to find New Learning Times was mentioned as a useful resource for EdTech developers nationwide!

New Learning Times is produced at the Ed Lab at the Teachers College at Columbia University and

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Fri, 2015-09-25 00:11

I encountered the following video on FB. Try dragging the screen when the video is playing.

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Thu, 2015-08-06 21:22

I have spent a day to implement the Trends page for the library website (the old page is http://library.tc.columbia.edu/trends.php) which is really outdated (some data are for 2006-2007). It's very interesting to look at those stats but I think it's important to get the stats up-to-date. Right now you can preview the Trends page on the development server:


Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Thu, 2015-07-09 15:37

I attended this webinar titled Empowering YouTube for Higher Education today facilitated by 3PlayMedia. The webinar turned out not to have the content I was expecting. I thought it would be an overview of diverse use cases of YouTube in higher education but it eventually is a product demo from Justin McCutcheon, CEO of Cattura Video.

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Wed, 2015-07-01 09:18

I encountered this Wikipedia article about Design Thinking and was surprised to see this vialogue is among the references. Nice work video team!

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Sun, 2015-06-07 12:10

According to this post on Quora (answered by a former Google recruiter), NO!

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Mon, 2015-05-04 16:14

Tip 1: Optimize PNG and JPG with TinyPNG

If you frequently work with web images, particularly PNG or JPG, you should know this awesome tool: http://tinypng.com/. What this tool does is to reduce the size of PNG and JPG files by 1/3 to 1/2 without decreasing image quality to the eyes. I strongly encourage our editors and content managers to optimize the images with this tool before uploading them to NLT, Vialogues, Pressible, etc. By doing this users will be able to load our webpages faster.

It is extremely easy to use this tool. Simply drag the images (up to 20 images per upload, and 5MB per image) to the dotted box on their webpage, and you'll see your images get uploaded and shrunk. In case you have uploaded some wrong formats, TinyPNG will know that and show you an error. By the end you will have a download link for each uploaded image so simply download them.

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Thu, 2014-06-26 16:39

I came across this whitepaper by JWPlayer — one of the most popular video player products in the market. Its title is 8 Steps to Master Video SEO and after reading it I find it's very informative and would like to share. The 8 steps this whitepaper mentioned are:

  1. Content is king
  2. Choose your words wisely
  3. Create a great user experience
  4. Go social
  5. Make use of video transcripts
  6. Leverage a multi-channel strategy
  7. Create sitemaps
  8. Mark-up with Schema.org

Among these steps, some we have taken for Vialogues, others not. And some of the untaken steps are ready to be implemented in our technology framework. I will be interested in hearing your thoughts.


  • On Vialogues, each vialogue and each video page should have its own meta keywords. Right now the adwords are all the same across the site (about EdLab and the Vialogues site per se but not the vialogue/video content).
Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Sun, 2013-12-22 23:34

Two weeks ago we had a seminar about offering great customer support in Higher Ed. I really hope my story had happened before that day so that I could share it with everyone at the seminar. Anyway, here is my recent story to prove the old ways of customer support should die and social media should take its place.

I purchased a TCL HDTV from Amazon in 2010, which is a renowned Chinese brand but not so much in the U.S. Six months ago I was reviewing something else when I encountered the so-called "firmware update instructions" on Amazon. Unfortunately I did the update although I didn't have any problem with the TV. After that all my TV did was show me a black screen.

Unluckily my TV was out of the 2-yr warranty. Since I am a tinkerer-kind-of-person, I googled around hoping I can find a solution instead of paying $100+ to a service person. Nothing useful was found. So I contacted the TCL customer support via phone, which proved to be a waste of time because all they could do was to give me the number of a local service center. This was totally expected though because those outsourced support representatives do not know anything about the products.

Submitted by Zhou Zhou on Fri, 2013-12-13 09:49

A study conducted at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) uses Google Hangouts, Vialogues, and blog in an online course:



Quotes from student evaluation:

Vialogues was a convenient and useful method to interact with students if you were not able to attend the Hangout, still felt like I got to know classmates better that participated in the Vialogues even if they weren't getting to know me blog buddies: helped create a network of other educators who passed on helpful resources.

Hey, anyone still remember my earlier proposal to integrate Google Hangouts into Vialogues?