Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bandwidth and videos

Due to the cost of internet in some places and the shrinking educational budgets, some school districts are electing to go with minimal bandwidth.  This means that the distance classes using face to face technology may get priority and the rest of the school has to be careful of how much is used.  For myself, I tend to make the video a part of my lesson and show it over my smartboard.  This eliminates the need for earphone for each student, requires less bandwidth and I can stop the video to ask questions on the topic.
I realize there is a move to flip the classroom and have students watch a video, podcast, do an interactive activity or such as homework so they are better prepared for the next day's lesson.  This works well if you are in an area where your students have good internet access.  Not all my students have internet access.  So I've been contemplating having things ready to go in my classroom, after school, so students can come in and do the work.  This way the demand on bandwidth is less, the students get the opportunity to do the preview and if needed I can have a cart of computers in my classroom.  Otherwise, if the assignment is one I can use on iPads, I just have them do it on iPads.
With the high stakes testing, teachers have to do a bit more than they used to.  I have to take into consideration, those students who do not have access to reliable internet at home.  This is one way we might be able to improve student performance.