Case Studies/VOCAB: with Bennu

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OER, egyptian, hieroglyphs, language, vocabulary, lessons, learning, texts, writing, reading, education


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Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph lessons daily via Twitter, and weekly summaries via other social networks including Flickr, YouTube, Slideshare, Vimeo and posted to iTunes as a video podcast.

Learning Ancient Egyptian Vocab, one tweet at a time. — Vincent Brown


Vincent Brown is the inventive mind behind VOCAB: with Bennu and is located in South Australia.

VOCAB: with Bennu uses a combination of social networks and web2.0 platforms to provide support to students studying ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by delivering a method of more effectively memorising the required vocabulary. Every day one word is delivered on the microblogging platform Twitter with the English, the transliteration code, and a link to an image showing the hieroglyphs on TwitPic, Twitter's image service. As well as being received by the rapidly growing number of Twitter users these 'tweets' are automatically imported into the side bar of Vincent's blog on ancient Egyptian pyramids, Talking Pyramids.

Every week a summary of the daily words is produced in the form of a slideshow presentation. This presentation is published on SlideShare and embedded into the Study page on Vincent's website Pyramid Texts Online.

In addition to the slideshow, a reference chart is created to display all of the the past week's words and this is posted to the photo-sharing site Flickr.

A weekly video is also created in a flash-card-like format with accompanying music and sound effects to provide a multi-sensory learning experience. These are posted to YouTube and Vimeo and also embedded in the Pyramid Texts Online Study page. The same video is released as a weekly podcast available in iTunes.

The project is self-funded with the aid of donations and commission earned on sales of text books on the website.

License Usage

VOCAB: with Bennu and all supporting materials are licensed under a Creative Commons license. All of the messages sent over @bennu's Twitter account are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (CC By SA)[1].

The reference chart is posted to Flickr and licensed under a CC BY SA 2.0 license using Flickr's method of applying licenses.

The videos created are licensed under a CC BY SA 2.5 Australia license. Some of the music and sound effects used to create the videos are sourced from places such as Jamendo [2], Free Music Archive [3], Wikipedia Commons [4], and the Internet Archive [5]. These services, and others like it, allow the reuse of other people's works that have CC licenses. Attribution to the creator and the specific license is given in the credits of the videos.


Being a keen user of Flickr for group projects since 2005, Vincent first became aware of the Creative Commons through Flickr as the co-ordinator of a team of web developers.

Building websites for non-profit organisations and Flickr's repository of CC licensed photos was a perfect match. The idea that web developers working on a small budget can find a photo and legally use it to create another totally different work is exciting and refreshing. We had local photographers allowing a group of volunteers to use their photos on websites that were built to promote local community services.

The decision to release VOCAB: with Bennu under a CC BY SA license was made in order to promote the work as much as possible. By allowing others to profit from it's reuse a wider audience would be reached by the re-user's promotion of their work.


  • The daily tweets from Bennu: @Bennu
  • One of the weekly charts: Week 9 Vocab chart
  • The weekly slide show: Week 9 Slideshow
  • An example of the videos that are distributed weekly via iTunes, Vimeo and YouTube: Week 9 video
  • The Study, where students are encouraged to visit to find all the resources: The Study