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Video Traces

VideoTraces was conceived and designed by Dr. Reed Stevens of the College of Education and has been developed and studied in collaboration with PETTT. Video Traces is a system that makes it easy to capture a piece of rich digital media, such as video or a digital image, and to annotate that media both visually (using a pointer to record gestures) and verbally. The resulting product is a "video trace": a piece of media plus its annotation--in essence, a recorded "show & tell". Traces can be viewed by their creator, exchanged with others, and further annotated for a variety of teaching and learning purposes.

Video Traces provides a unique opportunity to capture embodied knowledge and educational interactions by supporting the most common ways people communicate their ideas--through talking, showing, and pointing.

The Video Traces project serves PETTT goals in a number of ways:

  • Explore the interplay of technology and pedagogy in real settings: We have collaborated with individuals both within and outside of the University, and have explored educational uses of Video Traces in settings such as dance studios, architectural sites, and science museums.
  • Facilitate thoughtful and innovative educational technology uses: We have found that using Video Traces prompts reflection on the part of both learners and instructors, and in several cases has inspired instructors to adopt innovative new strategies for teaching their courses and for assessing student learning.
  • Make strong connections between research, design, and practice: We have used our observations about how people use Video Traces and our interviews with learners and instructors to inform the redesign of the software and generate further questions for research.



  1. Video Traces: Rich Media Annotations for Teaching and Learning


  1. Video Traces: Media Rich Annotations for Learning and Teaching

  2. Center for Innovative Learning Technologies presentation

  3. Presentation to College of Education Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI 505)

University of Washington
Program for Educational Transformation Through Technology
for more information please contact: pettt@u.washington.edu
PETTT is a University Initiative Fund (UIF) program