So much of what I am about to write has been said before, but it is my job to put all of these concepts together into a meaningful solution that makes teaching and learning more effective for teachers and students. So, consider the following truths and trends.
During the 2009-2010 school year, the Special Education Department in Newark Public Schools in New Jersey initiated an “Integrating Technology through Project-Based Learning Pilot Program” in the Samuel L. Berliner School (Berliner School). The pilot utilized SAFARI Montage, customized project based learning activities, and job-embedded professional development.
Video is a powerful tool for today’s educators that can significantly enhance the student learning experience. But to truly benefit, schools need to have the right infrastructure in place to support the high bandwidth and quality of service required to deliver rich multimedia content, not just to the teacher’s classroom computer, but to all wireless devices – from Netbooks to mobile phones. Case in point—Keller ISD in Texas.
Pennsylvania is our home state and I have wanted to do something special here with SAFARI Montage for a few years now, which is why I am thrilled to announce that SAFARI Montage will be available this Fall to every public school in PA connected to the state-wide high-speed network known as PAIUnet.
In this new age of the digital student, multimedia and interactive curriculum, there are two ways to engage students -- either give each of them a computer or outfit each classroom with a projection device that displays the information so that it is large enough for everyone to see. The latter is the direction we chose at Garland ISD when looking towards the future.
I started distributing educational video 25 years ago, and I have always enjoyed being selective about the videos that I offered to schools and public libraries. Back then, it was VHS tapes, and I was reminded of a particular series dating from 1985 while watching the movie Julie and Julia. The series was Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook.” It was exceptional, although more for public libraries than for schools, which ultimately became our exclusive focus.
Combining the “Best Instructional Materials”1 with the highest rated2 Video-on-Demand System from SAFARI Montage is giving middle and high school math teachers an opportunity to reach their 21st century students in a manner that speaks the students’ language.