Give Students TV for Homework

Dec 29th, 2007 | By | Category: Technology, Video, Work
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Wouldn’t they just love that? I don’t watch much television anymore, but when I did, I remember saying many times, “I would love to have my students see this.” It was usually a program that had a message and could teach my students in a way that could hold their attention. Well, I’m sure there’s still some good stuff on the tube that might be useful for students to watch, especially if you’re teaching college students. And guess what, we don’t have to bring in bootleg VHS tapes anymore. I’m not saying that is what I did or anything.

Today’s new revolution is Internet TV. 2007 was a big year for Internet TV. Yes, we all know that YouTube is king, but it has it’s limitation. For one, you’re not going to to find the latest episodes of your favorite primetime shows. So that gem of a program that you’re hoping to show your students is probably not available. And good luck trying to show only a piece of a YouTube video. But lately the Networks have changed their tune about Internet TV. Yes, there’s iTunes, but I don’t want to go broke buying shows I only want to show pieces of, and there’s just something odd about spending money to educate. It should be free for education. That’s my motto. Anyway, some of the major networks are bailing on iTunes.

So the networks are experimenting with offering their shows on the web. Read more about that at Last.100.comInternet TV: 2007 Year in Review. I’ve personally tried NBC Direct, and I just didn’t get it. What I do get is Hulu. They offer network shows in full length with short 15 second commercial that can’t be skipped. Yes, I tried :-(. The commercials are so short you can’t even get up to go to the bathroom in that amount of time. Anyway, what I like most about Hulu is that you can embed the video anywhere you like, including your course blog or Blackboard. And, I love this part, you can choose only the clip you want to show when you embed, so your viewers (students) don’t have to watch all of Jay Leno. See below. I clipped only the part of the Tonight Show where Jay shows what a horrible job teachers in America are doing. How about that for a tease.

The whole show shows up, so viewers can watch the rest, including the commercials, if they want. Hulu is in private beta right now, but I’m sure it will open up soon enough. It will be interesting to see how much content they will be able to get on the site. So far NBC, Fox and Bravo are the big names. Quality is good too.

So the next time you’re watching a television program and you think it might be appropriate for your students to watch, check out Hulu and see if it’s there. You’ll have it posted on your site in no time.

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