Giving TiVo one last chance

TiVo seemed so promising when I first introduced it at Catlin Gabel two years ago. Teachers had asked whether we could record TV, and classroom schedules don’t match up well to live TV. Television still produces vastly better quality documentary programming than YouTube.

Once I had the devices in place, enthusiasm waned. I tried the devices in different locations: our server room, a Spanish classroom. It helped When I provided DVD burning as a service. Now I have one in our multimedia auditorium and the other in the P.E./Health classroom. The teachers are excited and have been trained. Now let’s see whether they use them. If not, it will be curtains for these devices.


  1. tivonomo says:

    Why wouldn’t the teachers use them? If they don’t, maybe it should be curtains for these teachers instead of the TiVos?

  2. Richard says:

    Teachers have lots of valid reasons to use or not use new technologies: scarcity of planning time, focus on personal interactions, lesson prep, assessment, and so on. If I make DVR technology available to teachers in three different locations and provide training, and they still do not use it, then perhaps the technology does not have sufficient value in our context. One risk with TV programming is that it’s very passive. Online video may provide the shorter segments that fit better into a class period. It’s my job to give it a try and see whether it works.

  3. I was an avid TiVo user when my school network allowed remote TiVo programming, network transfer of the recordings, and Toast/TiVo integration allowed ways DVD burning/storage. the current network configuration no longer allows me to transfer video from the TiVo box to my computer unless I happen to teach in the division where the tivo box is located. This means I have to go to a classroom which might be in use, interrupt the class just by walking in, set up the recorder, leave while the recording/transfer takes place, then return to the same location to pick up my DVD. If it required fewer steps, I might continue to use it…..It is simply easier to either find a short clip online or buy the DVD. One suggestion….before they disappear completely, why not actually locate one in the Middle School? That way, network transfers could take place again…..Sorry for the rant, but tivonomo didn’t have all the facts.

  4. Richard says:

    The remote transfer/Toast features were difficult for an individual to use and impossible to scale. IT needs to spend its time on solutions that are scalable.