Wednesday, November 09, 2005


A series of short entries to cap off a short week! Today we discuss timesaving (and stress-saving) ways to streamline your use of United Streaming (and other video technologies) in and out of the classroom.
  • Downloading videos can take a while, especially if the Internet is being used heavily district-wide. Downloading during the school day also slows the Internet down for all district users. So don't waste your planning time downloading media! Instead, begin downloads before you leave in the evening -- and it will be there, ready to use, when you return the next morning!

  • Burning videos to CD after downloading them is certainly a great option for saving videos. There are a few burners in the school (Mr. Farber has one), and saving videos to disk allows us to discuss future possibilities for a hard-copy teacher archive, perhaps in the library. But you might also consider saving videos to the network -- you can then play them anywhere in the building!

  • There's no need for each of us to download (or record to CD) every video we need for our own classroom use, by the way. Save your CDs and trade them around. Or, even more useful: if you download a video from United Streaming, and find it useful, save it in the WMS_Teacher_Share folder on the network -- and then let others know, so they can use it without having to wait for download!

  • If a student misses a class in which you use a computer-based video, saving the video to the Student network so he or she can view the video from the homework center is a great way to help students catch up!

  • Planning on using a website or live stream in your instruction? Drag the icon for the web address to your desktop or a network folder before class begins, and it creates a shortcut. Then, when you need it, you -- or your students -- can go directly to that site by clicking on that link!

  • When thinking about how to use videos in your instruction, consider: research on student learning suggests that more students benefit from instructional video if it is not played straight through. Instead, media literacy advocates recommend that teachers pause videos frequently to ask questions, check for student engagement, and discuss the concepts that come up in the video. This mode of use models good critical use of mass media for students. And, as an added bonus, students tend to see the stakes of a given video as much higher -- and attend accordingly -- if we present ourselves as invested in the content of the video as it plays.

Thinking about a classroom activity which would benefit from large-screen projection or one-to-one lab use? Now that we have reworked the "old" computer lab, turning it into a one-computer one-projector presentation space for projection and instruction, computer specials can be more easily moved around your needs. Contact or stop by during your planning period to reserve spaces, or just to find out what's available when you want it!


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