Tout Instruction Manual:
Instruction for Educators
By: Amanda Arp and Karla Koch
This manual is meant to teach the use of Tout in the classroom. Tout is an online video service that allows users to view and upload fifteen second videos. This technology is the video version of Twitter and can be uploaded to various social networks to instantly publish updates. Touts can be a versatile tool to enable teaching and learning in the classroom. This manual will demonstrate how to 1) sign up for Tout, 2) create an original Tout Post, 3) respond to a Tout, 4) design a Tout for classroom use, and 5) design assignments using Tout.
Sign up for the Tout:
The first step to using this program is to sign up for a New Account, which can be done by going to www.Tout.com. Click the sign up button in the right hand side of the screen (as seen in the picture below). Options to sign up include using Facebook, Twitter, or “Other”. While it is easy to sign up with Facebook or Twitter, there are privacy issues to consider as Tout could have access to users’ friends, profile information, phone numbers and addresses if they are not protected by privacy restrictions. Consider warning students about the possible access to this information when signing up for new accounts.
For instructional purposes, choose “other”. In order to sign up, provide an email and password and receive an email confirmation. After receiving the email confirmation and logging in, the user is now ready to begin.
There are two ways to create a Tout. One is creating an original video and the other is responding to another Tout.
Create an original Tout post:
To create an original post, find the button in the upper left of the page with a white and blue plus sign labeled +New Tout (see directly below). Click this button to reach the next page, the Tout upload page designed to create or upload the video.
Videos can be created in multiple ways: a computer with a camera, a digital handheld video camera, or a smartphone or equivalent phone. When using a computer that has a camera, either use the Tout website to record the new Tout (by giving the site permission to use the computer’s camera and microphone, seen in the top image below) or upload film from the computer, which could be created on the computer or uploaded from a smartphone or camera, directly to the site (seen in middle image below). Tabs on the right-hand side of the window allow navigation between these two options.
The length of the video is limited to fifteen seconds. Any footage after fifteen seconds will not appear in the Tout. This new Tout will take several minutes to be accessible through the account email, the account homepage, and, if in response to another video, on that video’s page.
Create a response to a Tout:
The other way to create a Tout is to reply to another one. In order to do this, search for videos by using the darker blue search tool next to the
+ New Tout button. Once a video is found, click the blue reply button at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the Tout creation window. Follow the previously described steps to respond to the Tout. Once completed, the congratulations screen will appear (seen in bottom image on the previous page). Click the X in the upper right hand corner to return to the main screen.
Design a Tout for classroom use:
To use a Tout in a learning capacity, first create the Tout. Be sure to place a description of the video in the text box after creating the video and before publishing it. Students can access Touts by searching for the name of the person who created the Tout or the hashtags or words in the Tout’s description. By placing this same description on the syllabus, the students could easily search for, access and respond to the Tout. Warning: Once submitted, Tout responses make take several minutes to appear.
Design assignments using Tout:
Because of the time limit of the Touts, the assignments would need to be specific and the responses required would have to be concise. Having students prepare their responses ahead of time could help with concision. An assignment option for this would be the use of a 10 word summary – or 10 word essay. This option requires preparation on the part of the students and an understanding of the importance of deep understanding before the summary occurs. This seems like an easy task, yet could be vacuous if not done correctly.
10 Word Summary assignment
The following is a mini-lesson in the 10 word summary showing a great response example and a poor response example. Demonstrating an example of the quality response helps students to understand the high expectations for this “short” assignment.
10 Word Summary example (Click link below and then start with the top video): http://www.tout.com/conversations/lj77yzve#touts/qa3n2c
Transcript of original video:
“Hi students. Please give us a ten-word summary for Chapter 3, the Russian chapter. A ten word summary must be content rich, very specific, and cover all the information in the third chapter. Good luck!”
Transcript of response video:
“Poor example response one: Alice and family leave Russia in the middle of the night.”
This example is labeled “poor example” as the response misses the big ideas of the chapter as far as Alice is concerned. The summary does not talk about the big event in the chapter. While it does summarize what is happening on one level, there is no evaluation of the events.
“Quality example response two: Alice’s ingenuity saves Brad from confiscation by Russian Border Patrol.”
This example is labeled as a “quality example” because there are some words that show higher order thinking and deep understanding on the part of the students. Alice’s ingenuity shows that she used her intelligence to problem solve a solution to Brad being taken. The phrase Russian Border Patrol highlights they were at the border of Russian and were being stopped by the Patrol there, which shows the circumstances of the end of the chapter and gets to the big ideas of the chapter in a more detailed and thoughtful manner than the poor response.
Reader response assignment:
Another use of the Tout could be a reading response – students would be able to give two to three sentences in the fifteen second time limit – so again they would need to be prepared
ahead of time. By naming the article and author, the professor sets up what students are responding to. Student’s do NOT name the article and title in their response but simply start the reading response so they could make the most of their precious time. This also organizes the content. The syllabus could name the prompt and the deadline to respond.
Reader response video example (Click link below and then start with the top video): http://www.tout.com/conversations/paroj33p#touts/ehb572
Transcript for reader response question: “Our book is called Inanimate Alice. Inanimate means not endowed with life, not animated, dull, spiritless and dead. So why is our book called Inanimate Alice when Alice is the narrator and is growing and changing and moving?”
Transcript for student response: “I think our book is called Inanimate Alice because by working with technology there is a part of her that stays inanimate and is not changing, not moving, and not developing.”
Utilizing the Tout to ask higher order thinking questions wherein open responses are required demonstrates the possibility of the Tout to create a digital classroom environment by allowing the students to see the professor asking the question. This dynamic can help professors adjust expectations and delivery based on the responses of the students. Another benefit of using Tout to create a digital classroom environment is that the students can listen to other students’ responses, which allows students to learn from each other.
Just the beginning:
These are just a few of the uses for Tout in the classroom. The possibilities for using this program are numerous because of the ease of use with the ability to create and upload the videos from multiple mediums. By being able to put a face to the names of the students, this technology can bring another dimension to the classroom.