We All Stream For Video - Tech Learning

We All Stream For Video

Almost half of U.S. schools now offer some sort of streaming video in their classrooms. If your district hasn't yet joined the digital bandwagon, check your options. If you do have it, make sure you're using the best solution available.
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from Tech&Learning

More than ever, teachers are using digital video to enhance their lessons. In fact, the number of schools using video streaming increased from 30 percent to 45 percent between 2004 and 2006, according to Market Data Retrieval. Why the popularity? For starters, video-streaming products are easy to use. They allow teachers to punctuate lessons with a visual and aural punch, both of which help students retain what they've learned. And students love watching videos. If your district hasn't yet jumped on the digital bandwagon, the following chart can help you find the best method.

Doylestown, PA

What do you use?
SAFARI Montage

Why do you use this approach to streaming?
"Safari Montage content is played directly from a local server within a closed network, bypassing the Internet. The video streams at a high rate because it does not have to compete with Internet traffic. Quality is clear and reliable, even when played full-screen," says Mark Hoffman, director of technology applications.

What do you like about it?
"Teachers can choose from individual segments of any given title, design and share custom playlists, bookmark any video to create custom segments, and correlate any title to specific state standards," says Hoffman. The teachers also appreciate the attached ancillary materials and the detailed descriptions that accompany both the title and its various segments.

What don't you like about it?
"At first, we expressed our wish to play the content from outside of the school network. Recently, Safari released a new version that provides end-user access to the titles remotely. We hope to upgrade to this version."

Have you successfully integrated it into the curriculum?
"Teachers are encouraged to show short video clips and follow up with discussion, questions, or other inquiry-based activities. They appreciate the ability to generate individualized play lists of video specific to their curriculum and share them across their building and/or district."

How much does it cost?
$1,000 (K-8 core content package);
$1,500 (9-12 core content package).
Additional costs include server and basic software.

Streaming Setup
Server at the school or district level. This enterprise-level digital media management system offers several server options, ranging from a school installation to a district-wide installation. All servers come pre-loaded with core content that can easily be expanded. All servers are fully compatible with most standard network configurations.

Myrtle Beach, SC

What do you use?
Horry County produces their own programs such as news shows and a science series called "Forever Wild" (shown here).

Why do you use this approach to streaming?
David Bell, media services coordinator, says it was a cumbersome process to circulate DVDs and videos to the district's 50 schools. "Streaming is an immediate, reliable, and cost-effective delivery method, plus it's available at home, which is especially useful for sick or homebound students," he adds.

What do you like about it?
Says Bell, "There is nothing I dislike. I like that we got everything set up in a half hour and have never had a problem with it. We schedule everything to upload and never worry about it. It has been dependable through hurricanes and other storms."

What don't you like about it?
"There isn't anything I'd change. At first, I thought $5,000 was a lot of money to spend, but I now think it's actually inexpensive when you factor in the reliability and how it lets us provide what our teachers need."

Have you successfully integrated it into the curriculum?
"Yes, in lots of ways. We've had teleconferences on curricular issues and streamed them to teachers for staff development. Also, parents can access the videos at home. We have streamed several programs for parents, including helping them understand classroom activities like Lexiles for reading."

How much does it cost?
"So far, all we've paid is $5,000 for one encoder. Our network was already in place, as well as our production studios and other materials."

Streaming Setup
The district office produces in-house programming that they match to standards, mainly middle school, and upload to the server for all teachers to download and use. They have their own production studio and a network in place, so they bought an Encoder for $5K and that lets them digitize and upload everything.

West Palm Beach, FL

What do you use?
Discovery Education Streaming

Why do you use this approach to streaming?
"Teachers were spending a lot of money, including their own, to build up video and DVD libraries," says Lee S. Kolbert, technology program specialist. "Now, they can search through a vast library of clips and get exactly what they need."

What do you like about it?
"Teachers like the accessibility. There is plenty of content, all aligned to standards. It features more than just videos. There are articles, speeches, sound files, images, and clip art, all of which make it easy to integrate into lessons. Last but not least, it's very easy to navigate, with plenty of tutorials and professional development," says Kolbert.

What don't you like about it?
"There is so much content that it can be hard to find everything you want. Sometimes, we keep digging for more and find ourselves disappointed. Some teachers have high expectations and it's hard to keep up with them."

Have you successfully integrated it into the curriculum?
"Yes; all of our teachers have access to DE Streaming and have received or are in the process of receiving training. We have some heavy-hitters, probably about 15%, who consistently using the DE content and we have some newbies who are just starting to dabble in all the great stuff we get from Discovery."

How much does it cost?
Discovery Education streaming
K-8 Building: $1,570
9-12 and K-12 Building: $2,095

Discovery Education streaming Plus
K-8 Building: $2,615
9-12 and K-12 Building: $3,095


Streaming Setup
Can be hosted on-site (either at school or district) with the Discovery Media Server or can be accessed through the Internet.

Arlington, VA

What do you use?

Why do you use this approach to streaming?
"Learn360 is easy to use and the videos are current, both of which made it an appealing product for us," says Carolyn Griglione, the school's instructional technology coordinator.

What do you like about it? "It is easy on the eyes," says Griglione. "You can get around very easily in it; it is truly user friendly and doesn't require a lot of training. Also, the update process is simple. All of these factors make it appealing and useful."

What don't you like about it?
"The only thing teachers say is that there's not enough on some subjects, such as sixth-grade science. However, the company is open to suggestions, so this isn't a real problem."

Have you successfully integrated it into the curriculum?
"Yes. Our teachers use it all the time. It has become a part of their day, kind of like brushing your teeth."

How much does it cost?
An annual, customized subscription starts at around $695 for one school.

Streaming Setup
Audio and video streamed from the Web. (Can also be hosted locally for no extra charge.)



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