Tag Archive for tivo

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.

Video In-Service Training

I could use your feedback on a digital video training session I am designing. The purpose is to provide an overview of different video technologies that we make available to teachers at our school, so that they may subsequently choose one and pursue it in-depth at a later date. I would like to make it hands-on without getting project-based during this one-hour time session.

I plan to provide a short conceptual overview of different video technologies and then take the group through a series of hands-on stations, rotating the individual who sits at the setup each time. This will provide a nice balance between hands-on and time constraint.

Here are my planning notes for the session. How should I improve the plan? Please submit comments below!

Why video?
– the MTV and YouTube generations
– reaching all learners
– visual literacy

Where to post video
Catlin web site

Web video
– if you see it, how should you share it?
– “Share” links, embed code, HTML rights
– HTML editing modes: Catlin web site, Moodle, Drupal
– other formats

United Streaming
– what it contains
– how to bookmark or share

Video cameras
– capture
– Firewire and USB cables
– software (iMovie, MovieMaker, Premiere Elements)
– transfer, edit, export

Flip Mino
– capture
– USB transfer
– conversion

TV Recorders
– Cable and satellite sources
– Schedule on TiVo web site (incl. login information)
– Burn to DVD
– Finalize recording

Live TV in the classroom
– Best for momentous events (when it has to be live)
– Few live cable or satellite connections
– Over-the-air digital TV setup

Consumer pressure on IT departments

Last week’s New York Times article titled “Blackberry’s Quest: Fend Off the iPhone” explained the pressure that the iPhone is placing on Research In Motion to add consumer-friendly features to new Blackberry devices. The following statement caught my eye, due to its implications for school laptop programs.

Indeed, R.I.M.’s allure to carriers and corporations may be irresistible and impossible for Apple to weaken, even if Apple improves iPhone security. But some analysts still wonder what will happen to the BlackBerry’s dominance when everyday consumers start driving growth in the smartphone market.

We have seen a similar pressure arrive here at school. Students choose their own laptop platform when they enter the high school. Historically, their choice mirrored their parents’ platform adoption: about two-thirds PC. Two years ago, the platforms drew even — 50/50 PC and Mac. Last year, 90% of students chose Macintosh.

Though we have understood for a while that Apple’s popularity has skyrocketed here, we have to this point limited our analysis to the computers’ “cool factor”, the iPod, the new acceptability of Mac to Intel parents, and the good Mac experiences these students have had in their earlier years. The Times article underscores a broader trend. Our experience with Apple may repeat itself in other areas as students and teachers apply their consumer experiences to their work at school. We may need to stay abreast of technology developments beyond the realm of business.

TiVo is another good example. Many teachers now expect a different interaction with television than before, thanks to the rise of DVR in the home. Now, we have two TiVo devices on campus, though we have had to learn how to operate them within a network environment, with its increased challenges.

TiVo Update

Paul writes:

Tivo is working flawlessly. I log in, choose what should be recorded, receive a confirmation e-mail, and wait. Then, after airing, I connect via wired network, download the show from the Tivo box using Toast, and burn a DVD. In the case of Bush’s war, I needed a double-layer DVD, but then, all was well. Very cool! Thanks for making this happen.

This is great news. The next question is how to scale this to the entire faculty. Paul had to update to the latest Toast in order for this to work, and I don’t think we’re about to purchase a copy of Toast or ask them to copy large digital video files across the network. The current plan is to move the TiVo and DVD-R to an accessible classroom and skip the network transfer step.