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By Linda Redden
Videostreaming in K-12 Classrooms
fter just a few days of classes, Math teacher Thelma Long of Alamo Heights Junior High School in San Antonio, TX, noticed a large number of her students were zoning out and not paying much attention to her lessons. She desperately needed to do something before she lost all the students, it was videostreaming that came to the rescue. Videostreaming sends out an audio and/or video file across the Internet as a series of small data packets that may be viewed by a person or group of students through the use of a media player. Essentially the media player captures the data for real time or delayed viewing. Windows Media Player, RealTime or Quicktime can be used to deliver video to classrooms. Presentations can be delivered at either 28.8, 56k, ISDN, IP broadband speeds or over a LAN. Videostreaming differs from downloading material off the Internet because it enables a person to start
viewing an audio or video file instantaneously once it is connected to the server. Downloads can potentially take up hours of time, while streaming allows for immediate viewing. Videostreaming service is frequently provided by video content vendors that offer their own videos as well as videos from other educational publishers. Most vendors offer videostreaming as an annual subscription service available as a school-district, or state-level purchase (price ranges are $1,500 – $2,000/year). Videos can be streamed from the Internet, or downloaded directly to teachers’ computers from the Internet or locally hosted servers. Video vendors usually have their catalog of videos organized so that video content is correlated to every state’s educational standards. This means that teachers can select and obtain the video content that match specific educational standards they need to
emphasize. Teachers can select a standard that needs to be achieved and a list will be provided of specific videos that match that standard. These searches can now be done on a computer, any time and any place.
How Videostreaming Works
Streaming video enables teachers to incorporate libraries of film
Videostreaming in Science: A Sample Lesson
Would you like to incorporate videostreaming into the curriculum? Now you can isolate a portion of a video to be used to demonstrate a concept within any content area. For example, in a science class, a segment from The Roles of the Sun and Moisture in Weather (Discovery Education) focuses on how the heat from the sun and moisture are needed for weather to be generated. After students watch this particular segment, a discussion can evolve about severe weather forms, water cycles and how heat works as the “engine” for powering these cycles. Another popular unit involves students working as meteorologists who forecast the weather. They warn others about severe weather events and use videos to learn how to analyze the weather. They can view all or segments from such videos as What are Tornadoes, How Tornadoes Form From Thunderstorms (Discovery Education), and Ever-Changing Earth for Students: Hurricane (Clearvue & SVE). Other videos that can be "streamed" to enhance science lessons include: Exploring Weather: The Atmosphere in Motion. This video identifies the two main drivers of weather on our planet as the sun and moisture. The video uses each of these as the themes to explore the Earth’s climate and weather. Science teachers can use segments to explore: air masses, weather systems in motion, the
Media & Methods September/October 2005
and video into the curriculum in various ways. ➤ Small segments of a particular video can be viewed by a whole class. Segments of a particular video can be selected and watched on a laptop computer by one student for self-paced instruction. ➤ Students and teachers can download from the Internet segments of videos for classroom presentations. ➤ Video clips or a segment from a video can be bookmarked or saved on the computer for later use. ➤ Controls such as “play,” “pause,” water cycle and precipitation. (Discovery Education, www.unitedstreaming.com)
“stop,” “rewind,” and “fast-forward” can all take place with videostreaming. ➤ Several viewing stations can be set up for students to visit with assigned worksheets to be completed. Parts or whole videos can be assigned for homework to demonstrate a concept or emphasize a point. ➤ When a student is absent, teachers can easily download a video to be viewed for the missed portion of a lesson. Teachers can make a
list of video titles that correspond with concepts and examples being covered in the curriculum. Take the videostreaming plunge! If you have limited or outdated resources and materials in your school, here is a current, inexpensive way to open doors, eyes and minds. s
Linda Redden is the Librarian/Media Specialist at Alamo Heights Junior High School in the Alamo Heights School District in San Antonio, TX. Her school uses Discovery Channel School’s unitedstreaming. www.unitedstreaming.com
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Science Clips for Children. This six-volume series features captivating graphics and photography. Life science classes can click on topics like ecosystems and habitats or living natural resources. (Schlessinger Media, www.libraryvideo .com)
The Earth in the Universe. Designed to introduce key earth science concepts, this series provides an overview of the interactions of life and planet earth in the universe. Teachers can combine slow-motion, close-up, and stop-motion imagery with worldwide location footage. Students can participate in computer simulations about the cosmos. (New Dimension Media, www.ndmquestar.com)
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