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K 12 Video & Technology Challenges


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What technology challenges are you facing today? A recent forum of CTO's found that while funding is an on-going issue there are other challenges that can be equally as daunting.

To compound the technology issues, a recent survey found that only 51% of school districts had their own IT Director. This means 49% of Districts are staffed by a part-timer (i.e. Principal or Teacher) or the position is not staffed. Given the growing importance of integrating IT and Digital Learning this could be a major obstacle for many districts.

We've highlighted some of the challenges and provided resources where available to help you chart a course.

For more information please contact us a 800-601-6991 or visit our website at

Published in: Education, Technology
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K 12 Video & Technology Challenges

  1. 1. K-12 Video & Technology Challenges And other things to worry about...
  2. 2. Technology Challenges Facing K-12 Education What technology challenges are you facing today? A recent forum of CTO's found that while funding is an on-going issue there are other challenges that can be equally daunting and include: ● Bandwidth and infrastructure ● Video and Media delivery ● BYOD ● Wireless ● Changing mindsets ● Community support ● Teacher training and support Many school districts made the full leap into digital and updated bandwidth; moved to digital textbooks, swapped out TV's for projectors and even moved relevant Cable TV channels to their IT network and adopted BYOD strategies. However, according to the Education SuperHighway's National School Speed Test, 72% of America's public schools lack the broadband speeds needed for digital learning so that means a large percentage of schools have not made the full leap and are looking for affordable solutions. To compound the technology issues, a recent survey found that only 51% of school districts had their own IT Director. This means 49% of Districts are staffed by a part-timer (i.e. Principal or Teacher) or the position is not staffed. Given the growing importance of integrating IT and Digital Learning this makes for a troubling trend. Are you concerned about tech’s future? Here are 10 Steps Technology Directors can take to stay relevant in K-12.
  3. 3. Video Delivery Challenges In addition to the standard challenges, increasing use of video puts additional stress on your network. Some of the challenges districts face or will face include: ● Delivering video to the classroom ● Whether to adopt a Flipped Learning model and, if so, how ● Rising Cable TV fees for digital cable ● Managing existing video libraries and maintaining rights ● Local and global communication to all schools via TV's and computers ● Live video announcements ● Streaming School Board Meetings Live and On Demand ● BYOD & Wireless ● Ownership or Off Site Hosting
  4. 4. Video in the Classroom Video is an extremely useful tool in education and it can play multiple roles in the classroom. Edudemic says that YouTube and other online sites are popular and prominent places for young people to flock and educators should take the hint and implement more video-based learning and offers several suggestions on how to use video more. Video: ● Encourages creativity and collaboration. ● Can start new lessons with a bang. ● Has always been a key component in education but has many more options today. What are Some Ways to Use Video in the Classroom? ● Use video to introduce a topic. ● Use video to summarize a topic after a lesson or discussion. ● Use video segments to stimulate discussion or interaction. ● Take students on a video field trip. ● Use video for things you can’t duplicate in class but are relevant. ● Flip your classroom or at least some of your lessons. ● Authenticity for foreign language and history classes. ● Student video projects so they can show off their creativity. ● Video book reviews or reports. ● Use video to encourage critical viewing and thinking. ● Use video to teach interviewing and questioning skills. ● Download our ebook on How to Use Video in the Classroom. Why Use Video? ● Build listening, observation and verbalization skills. ● Develop critical thinking skills. ● Engage and motivate. ● Show new resources and expertise. ● Stimulate imagination. ● Illustrate different approaches. ● Connect real-world applications to classroom activities and concepts.
  5. 5. Flip the Classroom The Flipped Learning Network conducted a survey and found that 88% of teachers who flipped their classroom reported improved job satisfaction. In addition, teachers reported improved student attitudes (80%) and increased test scores (67%) and the vast majority of teachers responding said they would continue to use flipped learning in their classroom. Flip the Classroom In addition to video in the classroom there is significant buzz about flipped learning and how it changes the structure of a typical classroom. In Flipped Learning, the teacher provides a video, or other means of conveying a classroom lesson for homework and then uses class time for problem solving, oneon-one and group time to dig further into the topic. As part of their research FLN recommends six styles of video with thoughts on how to use them: 1. Use video to introduce a topic. 2. Use video in the middle of class as an interlude to introduce a problems or challenge. 3. Use video to introduce homework. 4. Ask students to reflect or comment on a video. 5. Allow students to teach using video. 6. Use video to engage parents. Mistakes to Avoid? Everyone who tries flipping their classroom makes mistakes. That’s how we learn and grow. One way to help in your transition is to learn from other’s mistakes.
  6. 6. Cable TV to IPTV Conversion Has your local cable provider increased the fee for digital cable? For many districts the increased cost is just too much. Alternatives to a cable box on every TV or projector is to put them at the headend and stream the channels teachers actually need over the network. The upfront cost associated with this move pays for itself quickly in reduced cable bills. Managing Existing Video Libraries and Rights Most schools own some videos, and licenses can extend many years into the future, which makes it important to pay attention to copyright and how schools handle video. As an example, if a teacher uploads a purchased video to YouTube for students to watch on their own, the district has likely violated Federal Copyright law. If the author discovers this violation the district can be held liable for unauthorized use or distribution. A private video network organized for your curriculum makes sense versus a teacher free-for-all.
  7. 7. Off Site Hosting There are pros and cons to off site hosting services and they make sense for some applications because of the speed with which they can be configured and launched. However, video offers some different challenges: ● Video files are big so storage can be more costly and is an on-going expense. ● Bandwidth charges can fluctuate each month depending on usage so budgeting is tougher. ● Single Content providers limit choice versus a solution that can take any video file you own, lease, buy or create. ● Maintaining a private and closed, content distribution network helps you manage copyright and user rights and reduces potential abuse.
  8. 8. Live School Announcements Live video announcements provide a fun way for students to get involved with TV and video. It also teaches them how to plan, organize, present, collaborate and other real world skills. In the past, this effort required very expensive equipment and a TV professional with technical chops to manage the process. Today, video announcements can be done with very limited equipment and streamed over the school’s network thus making it much more popular and affordable. Stream School Board Meetings Live and On Demand Districts that don’t have access to local Public, Education or Government cable TV channels can broadcast their public meetings over the Internet. The cost versus funding a TV station is significantly less and the broadcast is not limited to a specific channel, cable system or geography. As an example, if your local PEG channel is on Verizon, DirectTV and Dish viewers will not be able to watch the meeting. Streaming provides much more flexibility along with the potential for viewers to use their tablets or mobile devices to watch from anywhere in the world. Past meetings can be made available using video on demand for added convenience.
  9. 9. Digital Signage Broadscale communication throughout a school district can be problematic because: ● ● ● ● ● Campuses are geographically dispersed. Cable TV is not on a shared network since each campus is separate. Display options vary from campus to campus. Announcement systems vary from campus to campus. Older schools may only have a suitable coax system while newer skills may not have coax at all and rely totally on their network. So the challenge is how to network all campuses together on a single system so it works seamlessly on different local networks and cable systems?
  10. 10. BYOD Adopting Bring Your Own Device presents a special set of circumstances to IT and complicates support. However, as it relates to video, one format (H.264) is compatible with most devices students bring to school. This can take some of the headaches away from integration and support. Wondering what the pros and cons of BYOD are? Here’s a link to an article from SecureEdge networks you may find helpful. You can also find a toolkit from K-12 Blueprint here. Wireless The problem with older forms of wireless is their lack of bandwidth. The latest version of WiFi is 802.11ac and it holds the promise of providing significant bandwidth to handle video. While not fully mature, 802.11ac should evolve over time via software upgrades to take maximum potential of the space. Click here to see the 802.11ac A Survival Guide available from O’Reilly Media or click here for a video introduction to 802.11ac from Aerohive.
  11. 11. What’s Your Strategy? Moving forward is there an absolute right way to proceed? Three basic approaches come to mind: Attack each issue with a different, separate system. Go for a full, turnkey solution that covers all of the bases but may cost more. Adopt a modular system that can be integrated, one module at a time and provides the benefits of a turnkey system with the budget friendliness of individual applications.
  12. 12. VideoCourier Designed for school districts with: ● Tight budgets ● Pressure to do more with less ● Demands for better technology. VideoCourier Features: ● Adds no hardware to the classroom ● Cost effective ● Expandable ● Modular ● Scalable to any size district ● Easy to understand ● Simple to use ● Needs no extra support ● Requires no annual license ● Can use any video content VideoCourier Elements: ● Content acquisition and management ● Streaming and broadcasting ● Video on Demand ● Cable or IPTV ● Cable TV to IPTV conversion ● Digital Signage ● Teacher Uploader for Flipped Learning ● Video delivery to remote locations/schools ● Content resources ● Live school video announcements ● Stream School Board Meetings and other events. Click for more info... A cost-effective and modular approach to K-12 Video that provides flexibility, scalability.
  13. 13. VideoCourier is available from Synergy Broadcast Systems. Call or visit our website for more information. About Synergy Broadcast 16115 Dooley Road Addison, TX 75001 Tel: 972-980-6991 or 800-601-6991 Click to ask us a question or request a demo Click for more on VideoCourier