Cable in the Classroom

Nov 2, 2005 by

While reading the forum over the weekend (something I highly recommend if you already visit the site regularly) I was clued into a great web site by Tom; Cable in the Classroom.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been watching a television program on the Discovery Channel (or insert your favorite educational channel here) and slapped yourself for not having recorded it sooner to show to your class. Either the perfect example of how the respiratory system helps oxygenate the blood or first-hand accounts of holocaust survivors are being shown and you didn’t realize it until you started flipping through the channels. We all don’t possess the foresight to check our daily TV listings, and sometimes we get stuck in a rut showing the same old episode of Bill Nye, but still want to have the visual stimulation of videos. Not that videos should be the paramount of stimulating education (there are far better ways to engage learners), but for the occasional instructional or educational video there is Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry’s non-profit foundation for helping educators use cable programming as effectively as possible.

Cable in the Classroom (CIC) provides users with a database of upcoming educational programming, useful web sites, and CIC developed web resources. Click on their Video/Web Resources page and you’re presented with subject areas such as Science & Health, Preschool Learning, and Personal & Social Development (among other subject areas). Clicking on one of the subjects takes you to upcoming listings from the current date until as far out as 2010 (better set that VCR early for the 2008 showing of King Tut’s Tomb). It also outlines what portions of programming are covered under copyright laws to help prevent legal issues, links to exclusive web content on the CIC site, and an entire section on Access Learning, a monthly publication dedicated to technology in the classroom. The site has already helped other educators here find cleverly created multi-media explorations of how Shakespeare’s work has changed over time, and I can’t wait to use resources from Discovery School’s web portal about ancient Egypt: Cleopatra’s Palace.

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2 Comments

  1. Bridget Danish

    Our school currently subscribes to CIC, but it is underutilized becasue taping shows is cumbersome and time consuming. We are interested in purchasing/renting a DVR box to facilitate this process. Have you tried this? Do you know anyone who has and is using it successfully?

  2. Ben

    That’s actually a pretty good idea Bridget. Personally, I’m not aware of anyone that had tried this, but it should work in theory. Many people are used to DVRs so it shouldn’t be a problem finding someone to actually input the shows. While you could have trained teachers input their own shows, you might also just have all requests go through one person, who sets up the box to record.

    The only problem I could see that might arise is viewing the videos. Either the DVR would have to be portable for each classroom to view their particular videos, or you would have to find a way to copy the shows to either DVD, VHS, or stream them to a teacher computer for viewing in the classroom. Not sure how viable either of those solutions would be, but at least you could start your very own video library with the box.

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