School Videos – A Low Cost Part of Your Classroom Technology

Helping students become technologically adept is necessary if we are to prepare them to be thinkers in the twenty-first century. Critical thinking and problem solving have always been necessary life-skills but to be competitive in today’s marketplace, creativity and innovation, such as that required for producing multimedia presentations, is also required.

When most people talk about educational technology, they are referring to bringing computers into the classroom and using the Internet as a primary tool for instruction. However, in school districts where funds are lacking or where the tools are cost prohibitive or where Internet access is purposely limited, we should not forget about the old tried-and-true technologies such as school videos.

Here are some low cost alternatives for incorporating technology in the classroom using both new and more traditional technologies, such as DVDs and school videos.

Ideas for Computers with Internet

o Making a Class Website – Many online companies that allow you to easily construct a website for free. All you need to do is click and drag.

o Online Learning Environment – Alternatives to class websites are online class management services. These sites, for a small fee, allow teachers to assemble and share content with their students via the Internet.

o Video Conferencing and Multi-Cultural Education – There are many free video-conferencing sites available today so you can literally (and safely) open your classroom to the world.

Ideas for Computers with NO Internet

o Word Documents as a White Board – Make taking class notes a collaborative activity.

o Educational Podcasts – A great resource for those who are primarily auditory learners. No Internet access? Download the podcast at home and burn it on to a CD for classroom use.

o Creating Podcasts – This is easily accomplished with the computer and recording microphones.

o Digital Movie and Montage Making – Creating multimedia sound and visual presentations is no longer reserved for techies and filmmakers; they cut can be created easily with resident computer software, even without a digital camera.

Ideas for Classrooms with NO Computer

Educational School Videos remain a viable and VERY low cost way to integrate relevant, educational content into lessons that engage the students and enhance their visual literacy. Even in this information age, most school libraries still retain a collection of VHS tapes and many also have DVDs. Don’t forget they are there.

If you DO have a computer in the classroom, it can be used to show the school videos that are DVD-based, thereby also providing needed skills on operating the computer.