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Video Utilization Strategies     Internet Utilization Strategies   
Copyright and Fair Use
          Building a Tape Library              ESL Strategies            

PE05715_.WMF (2308 bytes)Television can be a powerful educational and motivational tool. However, a great deal of the medium's power lies not in itself but in how it is used. Video is not an end in itself but a means toward achieving thoughtfully selected learning goals and objectives. Effective instructional video is not television-to-student instruction but rather teacher-to-student instruction, with video as a vehicle for discovery. Using specific techniques, teachers can strategically use video to promote student interest and understanding by targeting video content and use to promote teachers' own unique instructional agenda.

Video Utilization Strategies

1) PREVIEW each program carefully to determine its suitability for the lesson's objectives and student's learning outcomes.

2) PREPARE classroom for viewing.  Teachers should check equipment (monitor, VCR, remote control), arrange seating and lighting, and cue videotape(s).  Lights should be left on as often as possible to reinforce the fact that the video is not a passive entertainment.

3) INTEGRATE the video into the overall learning experience by adding an experimental component to the lesson. Activities can be done prior to viewing; to set the stage, review, provide background information, identify new vocabulary words, or to introduce the topic. The activity can be done after viewing to reinforce, apply, or extend the information conveyed by the program. Often the video can serve as an introduction or motivator for the hands-on activity to come. Again, relevance is key. Activities should be tied directly to the lesson's goals; in this way, all the lesson's components - the video, the activities - are tied to lesson and curriculum objectives.

4) SEGMENT the video to teach the concepts that are most relevant for your lesson topic. It is often unnecessary and time-consuming to screen a program in its entirety. When previewing a program, look for segments particularly relevant or useful to the lesson or activity planned. Often a program has a great deal of information that cannot be digested at once; in that event, it is useful to show the program in segments so that its content can be more easily understood. Even the briefest video clip can spark student interest or demonstrate a concept.

5) FOCUS students' attention by giving them a specific responsibility while viewing.  Introduce the tape segments with a question, things to look for, unfamiliar vocabulary, or an activity that will make the program's content more clear or meaningful. By charging students with specific viewing responsibilities, teachers can keep students "on task" and direct the learning experience to the lesson's objectives. Be sure and follow-up during and after viewing the tape.

6) PAUSE while viewing to check student comprehension, ask questions, have students record information, make predictions, examine a chart, formula, or image on the screen more closely, or to have students draw a diagram. It's important to make the viewing as interactive as possible.

7) ELIMINATE either the sound or picture. There are times when you will want your students to concentrate on only the visual or narration. For example, you may want to replay a segment or have students describe what is happening without the assistance of either the visual images or soundtrack.  You might initially cover the screen, or turn off the sound, and ask students to guess what is happening based on the narration or visual alone. You may also want to turn off the sound and provide your own narration when the soundtrack is inappropriate for your student's grade or age level.

8) AFTER the Video

  • Allow students to respond to the program. What interested them? What didn't they understand? Use the focus viewing assignments.
  • Recognize the validity of divergent reactions. Discuss without re-teaching the material. Check for understanding.
  • Help students relate the program to their own experiences and feelings.
  • Relate the program to prior and anticipated class work. Give examples.
  • Consider: Creative writing. Long-term projects. Art experiences. Role playing. Bringing in related objects for examination and experimentation. Production of your own short video program. Visits from experts.

Teachers and students alike will find that video is an effective catalyst and facilitator for classroom discourse and analysis. Coupled with hands-on learning, a video-enhanced curriculum is invaluable for expanding the classroom's four walls so that they encompass no less than the universe. By reaching out to students with a medium that is as forceful as it is familiar, teachers can do better what they do best: teach.


Internet Utilization Strategies

  • Media Prep
    Determine suitability for achieving lesson objectives and student learning outcomes. Check to see that the entire site is age appropriate and that links from the site are also age appropriate. Make certain that site content is aligned with the stated goals of the lesson, and analyze the source of the site to assure its legitimacy. Prior to the start of class, visit the site (and all pages that you wish to highlight) for faster downloading of images and graphics during the demonstration.
  • Provide a Focus for Media Interaction
    Provide students with a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after interaction with Web sites. Teachers should introduce Web sites with a question, things to look for, unfamiliar vocabulary, or an activity that will make the site's content clearer.
  • Conduct Introductory and Culminating Activities
    Integrate the Internet into the overall learning experience by framing the lesson with experiential components. Activities should be done prior to viewing Web sites to set the stage, provide background information, identify new vocabulary words, or to introduce the topic. An additional activity should be done following Internet use to reinforce, apply, review, or extend the information conveyed by the program. Tasks assigned should be objective, specific, and easy to assess.
  • Bookmarking
    Before class begins, bookmark all lesson Web sites on demonstration and workstation computers. This will allow students to easily get to the Web pages that you wish them to see. By clicking with the mouse on "Add Bookmarks" from the "Bookmarks" pull down menu in Netscape Navigator or "Add to Favorites" from the "Favorites" pull down menu in Internet Explorer, the URL (Web address) will be easily accessible from your computer.
  • Pause While Examining Web Sites
    Pause to: check for student comprehension, solicit inferences or predictions, highlight a point; define a word(s), compare to real?life events, have students work online, solve a problem, form a hypothesis, or enhance students' observation and memory skills.
  • Supervise the Students
    The school should have a signed Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) from each student on file. Students should always be monitored while they are on the Internet to make certain they stay "on task" and are not visiting inappropriate or unrelated sites.
  • Reference Web Sites
    Make certain students reference both text and images copied or referred to from the Web. Be sure to include the author, title, source, copyright date, and URL.
  • Copy and Paste
    To avoid long printing queues, have students "copy and paste" only those images and text needed to complete an assignment into a word processing document. Show students how to send only one page of a particular Web site to the printer. Teach your students how to reference copyrighted materials.

Techniques For Using Video with ESL Students  

The NTTI methodology is a perfect complement to an ESL program.  Video can be an effective and powerful tool for English language learners.  By incorporating closed captioning, ESL students are able to see the text and hear the language in a non-threatening format. A 1990 study by the National Captioning Institute has found that closed captioning video has improved comprehension, and overall is very effective for students learning English as a second language.  In a 1992 study, NCI found that using captioned materials from the television program 3-2-1 Contact resulted in higher scores on vocabulary and recall of science content for ESL students.  Tips for using video with ESL students include:

  • Select video programs that model language and provide settings and events familiar to students' real-life experiences.  Help students relate the program to their own experiences and feelings.
  • Use closed-captioning with the audio and video for a multi-sensory approach.
  • Have students observe the way characters communicate messages through spoken language, non-verbal gestures and body language. Point out to students how communication varies according to the setting.
  • Use PAUSE to check for understanding, provide examples, ask questions, repeat language and provide more detailed explanations of the situational context and language.

The multi-sensory processing of audio, video and print aspects of closed captioned television enhances language learning and comprehension.


Building a Library of Instructional Tapes

PBS and IdahoPTV programs that can enrich studies in science, math, the arts, geography, culture, and other areas of the curriculum are all available for recording and using, and re-using in the K-12 classroom, when the time is right. The price for these video resources is certainly right; they’re free!  The hardest part seems to be just getting them recorded(!). A winning strategy might be for parents to help with this aspect of bringing low-cost, high-quality, video resources into their child’s classroom. In some Idaho schools, the parent organization provides classroom teachers with blank videocassettes, and the teacher has the help of parents to record the television programs that will eventually be used in the classroom. Would this work at your school?

Keep in mind that most of these television programs have associated web-sites with teacher resources, and often, interactive activities for learners. With a videotape of the program, you can choose the most useful time to use both video and accompanying web resources within their curriculum. As an added bonus, every PBS program that IdahoPTV broadcasts is accompanied by closed captioning (a text script of the audio). When you use videos with closed captioning, reading skills are sharpened, and detailed information is better remembered.

Check out the long list of programs with extended copyright for use in the K-12 classroom. These are video resources that are made available specifically to record and use, from one year to the life of the videotape!   Encourage the parent organization at your school to get behind this economical way to enhance classroom teaching materials. Ask a parent or a student to help with recording, and build your own classroom video library!  The ability to integrate instructional videotapes into the classroom is directly related to the teacher's access to a video library. Here are some additional ideas on building up your tape library.

  1. Establish a central site to house videotapes. The location should be in easy access for teachers who are using videotapes. Create a database of materials available for easy reference!
  2. Identity a parent, librarian or media specialist to oversee the collection, so that you can find that tape when you need it!
  3. Arrange for a checkout system which allows both faculty and student access.
  4. For best quality, record programs at standard speed.
  5. If indexing tapes with counter numbers, remember that different VCR models display different counter numbers.


Copy Right and Fair Use      
Copyright law exists to protect the interests of those who create original works in any medium. The Fair Use Guidelines are an important limitation on copyright in regards to educators.  They specify conditions under which copyrighted material may legally be used, for defined purposes, without penalty. One of those areas of use is education. Educators may use copyrighted works for teaching, research, scholarship, and for similar purposes without specific permission from the owner.  To qualify, the following criteria should be considered in determining "fair use:"

  1. The purpose and the character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

These four factors have become the basis of subsequent specific interpretative guidelines, including the Fair Use Guidelines for books and periodicals, music, off-air videotaping and multimedia. Although they do not have the force of law, these guidelines have been considered a "safe harbor for permissible use."

Fair Use Guidelines

  1. Broadcast programs may be videotaped and retained by a nonprofit educational institution for a period not to exceed 45 calendar days after the date of recording. At the end of the 45-day retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. "Broadcast programs" are television programs transmitted by television stations and cable companies for reception by the general public without charge.
  2. Videotaped recordings of broadcast programs may be shown to students only within the first 10 school days of the 45-day retention period, and may be shown only two times. The off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers in the course of teaching activities and repeated once reinforcement is necessary. They may also be shown in classrooms or in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction.

IdahoPTV and PBS Extended Copyrights for Teachers

PBS has sought extended extended copyright agreements to make their programming easier for educators use in the classroom.  As a result of their efforts, extended educational rights of a year or more have been made available to preschools and K-12 schools for the majority of PBS primetime and children's programs.   In some instances the extended rights have been granted for three years and some are even for the life of the tape!  The time period is usually defined from the date of the broadcast from which the recording was made or from the date of the original broadcast on public television. And on occasion there may be a fixed expiration date for the rights granted.

So how can you find out the taping rights?Information on the specific extended off-air copyright for each IdahoPTV and PBS program or series can be found at the IdahoPTV Learn web-site, and in the monthly IdahoPTV program guide, Channels. Some programs have only one-year extended copyright, but many of these are re-broadcast each year. Several programs have extended copyright that is “unlimited," and lasts as long as your videocassette still works! Other programs have extended copyright that ranges from the one-year to four years.  Learn more about copyright by exploring the Multimedia Wharf and Fair Use Harbor to ascertain your rights as indicated in copyright at Copyright Bay.   An online tutorial about copyright is also available!


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