Any digital asset can be tagged. A tag is simply a keyword that can be attached to an article or object that can be usefully employed as a search or reference term.

All the content served through ode will have a set of tags against it. These may be curriculum based (year 7, Key Stage 3, rock types: weathering processes) or keyword based (snow, cold, rocky, dark, eagles, flying).

But the on demand teaching that ode will enable will also acknowledge the fact that we can take it one step further. This is where deep tagging can be used. It will require a human being doing the tagging but it’s an extremely worthwhile process.

“…I like the idea of deep tagging. It requires human labor but for many publishers it’s worth it. Instead of simply being associated with a file, a deep tag is associated with a clip from the file. Click on the tag and jump right to that part of the clip.”

Let me give you an example. Mrs Jones is a KS3/4 history teacher. She’s about to welcome a busy classroom of eager students and has a set of objectives around “USA: equality & civil rights after 1900: Martin Luther King” that she would like to get through.

She has pre-bought a video from ode and it’s sat waiting to be played in her content library. It’s a 40 minute documentary about the life of Martin Luther King. Ordinarily this would be too long and would dominate the lesson. Up until now she’s had to fast forward an old VHS tape that’s been in the school for 10 years. She knows her students would enjoy the visual and audio presentation (reading his famous speech cannot compare to hearing it).

But it’s a frustrating way of delivering it – trying to search through a video cassette or spending the evening before painstakingly going through it to find the good stuff.

It is tagged “America, 20th Century History, speech, dream, Martin Luther King, assassination”. This will help her find it in her library (it certainly helped her find it when shopping in ode) but what it doesn’t do, and where deep tagging could really benefit any educational experience, is show where the documentary exactly delivers the learning.

For example it could be deep tagged like this:

  1. Credits 00:00:01
  2. Introduction to the civil rights movement 00:00:38
  3. Footage of Malcolm X reacting to the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in 1963 00:10:23
  4. Interview with Coretta Scott King 00:12:02
  5. The “I have a dream speech” at the Lincoln Memorial 00:15:30
  6. “Let Freedom ring!” to end of speech 00:29:00
  7. News report on his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 1968 00:31:58
  8. The impact of the civil rights movement on America 00:36:12

By flagging these important sections in the documentary Mrs Jones can click and jump directly to the sections that she feels are the most important parts for her students to see. She can even jump to the rousing end of the speech, the bit that really makes you tingle when you hear it. She can create impact, she can save time, she can instantly work the media to her advantage.

And if she finds another section she feels is worth bookmarking but hasn’t yet been deep tagged by us or by the community she will be able to allocate her own personalised deep tagging.

She is in control of the digital content. Free at last, eh?

“Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Martin Luther King Jr, 1929-1968