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.