The official website of Physics 308-L

BenchFly Thread

BenchFly is a scientific video website originally designed for video protocols, but that doesn’t mean that’s its only function. I’ve used it for protocols, but I’ve also used it for instruction. I posted a video that talks about using OpenWetWare as an open notebook platform and I plan on uploading videos that talk about Google Docs and WordPress.

And like it or not, I would like to incorporate BenchFly into the semester. I think we can effectively push the boundary of scientific education and open science using BenchFly.

So, I would like you ALL to comment below and think about ways that we can incorporate BenchFly into the class. This is called a thread, where the blog post acts more like intro to the discussion that happens below. The hope is that we get some ideas down, and collective knowledge pushes the best ideas forward. So get to it.

Note: I’ve changed the comment system to Disqus. This means yet another service you have to sign up for, but it is well worth it. First it’s free. Second A LOT of sites around the web use disqus for commenting. Third it helps you keep track of the conversation and you stay logged in so you don’t need to fill out a form every time you want to comment on a blog. With Disqus you can set it up so you receive an email whenever someone replies to a comment you make and you can reply to the comment directly from your email. This helps you stay in the conversation.

Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “BenchFly Thread”

  • I’m meeting with the founder of BenchFly next week at some point to discuss what we talk about here so let’s get the ball rolling.

    One of my ideas would be to make one video of the entire class, where I film one to two students each week doing the lab and we would make the video one long cohesive story. Your part in this would be to be an actor, help in creating a story for the film, and maybe some voice over work. Oh and others would get to work with me editing the video and compiling it. I have video software for all of this. This would be a huge group project which would be like a final exam type thing.

    The second idea would be that each week I would film two of you doing the lab and we would each make separate videos of each lab. All of the above efforts would apply here but it would be a more individual effort and your grade would depend on how much effort you put into the video. Since I have all the tools required for this, you would have to work with me on an individual level.

    Time requirements for each idea would probably be around an hour outside of lab.

    What are some of your ideas?

    • j2phenom says:

      I stumbled across the post while checking my google reader and I have to tell you that I am pretty excited about this. The idea of a collaborative final project sounds intriguing and goes alng with the tone of the coarse more so than developing separat videos. Making a video would help to spread the word about the incorporation of open science into the academinc setting. Also, it will help to show how we are making good use of unorthodox tools such as twitter, open notebooks via blogs, and BenchFly itself. I am not that experienced with creating videos but I am interested in learning more. I also have always want to do voice over work,so if we decide we need it I would love to do that part.This is all very exciting.

      • In my head this would be made more like a documentary, with a script to be read over the final film. I have limited experience with video production, but this would be a very fun final project. I would take all the ideas we come up with and talk to Koch about making a linear story about the semester. One of you would have to help with the script, story boarding, etc and of course once I talk to Alan it’ll be more clear what is doable.
        I think it could be fun to use benchfly to host the cut footage as well, like supplemental stuff.

        Play around with their website some and incorporate ideas you’ve seen in movies, tv shows, etc and let’s see what we can come up with.

        • j2phenom says:

          That sounds like a great idea. My younger brother is actually studying film along with other subjects at Brown University right now and I am sure I could use him as a resource. I think the overarching motif for the documentary could be one of transformaition. We all started out as students who were only exposed to the typical “cookbook” science labs. The setup in our labe is forcing us to grow and alter our perceptions of science in the 21st century. Some of us were in Koch’s lab last semester and some were not, so we could additionally juxtapose the differing experiences of students.

          • Most definitely. If others contribute to this conversation we could begin planning and see what’s up.

            With that said, I would like to contribute more than one video to benchfly so it would be good to figure out something that does all this and more! (Not trying to be overzealous)

          • Alan says:

            This is gonna be fun! I love the idea of a documentary-style piece in addition to specific techniques or instructions that you want the students to learn. I see two themes emerging- one high-level storyline about the use of internet-based tools in the lab, and one detail-driven storyline on the specific science/techniques being taught. Of course, the footage isn’t mutually exclusive – looking forward to helping brainstorm! -Alan

          • Guest appearance!!!

            Feel free to contribute to the brainstorming as things develop. I’m guessing trackbacks led you here? Hahaha!

          • Alan says:

            There’s an outsider in the discussion! I recommend that all labs be held with a cocktail hour – now *that* would make for a good lab experience!

            I’ll be sure to add any other brainstorms that come to mind…

          • Steve Koch says:

            Meeting with Dean of UNM Library (Martha) and Rob Olendorf and Dale Hendrickson now.  Alan–Apparently you’ve spoken with Rob Olendorf previously?  Seems like a great opportunity to combine UNM library, UNM Library IT, BenchFly, and our class to do a final project that is revolutionary collaboration for open data. Not that this post means much, except that we have a lot of players willing to so something awesome.

          • Alan Marnett says:

             I have spoken with Rob- very nice guy. I’m definitely up for helping out with the revolutionary class project in any way! I love the way things are shaping up and look forward to participating.

  • Brian Josey says:

    Anthony, it turns out that you do not have to sign up for Disqus to use their commenting system. When you post a comment, you can do so as a guest. All you have to do is supply a name and an email address for them to contact you if necessary.

    As for the discussion about creating a documentary on our experience in the class, it could be interesting, but I do not know if it really is the best option. It might be interesting to document a class from the very beginning of the semester, when they have had no exposure to open science, and comparing it to the end of the semester when they are already familiar with the idea. Now, we’re halfway through the semester, and most of us have already had a class with Koch and are comfortable with the idea of using open notebook science.

    •  I know you don’t have to sign up. I set it up that way. I’m saying you should, because it is worth it and you won’t have to type email and name every time you want to comment here or on any other site that uses Disqus (and there are a lot).

      And the point of this project wouldn’t be to get you familiar with open science. It’s to get you familiar with things that could be useful to you in the future. BenchFly, useful, knowing how to make a movie, useful, and contributing to the open science community, very useful. This project is all about outreach (which is really what the entire course is about) and I want to know what the best way to do it is.

      So if you don’t think a documentary style movie about contributing to science online (which I’m expecting there to be some for, some against, some apathetic which makes for a good documentary) is a good idea, let’s hear some other suggestions.

  • Stephen says:

    I can definitely get on board with the idea of one collaborative group final project.  The camera tends to not like me very much but I would volunteer to help out behind the scenes.