Recognizing the need to engage a new generation of students who are visual learners,
The system, SAFARI Montage by the Library Video Company, will allow teachers to access and play more than a thousand video programs from leading publishers such as National Geographic and Scholastic. It also will enable
“The vision is to make the curriculum more 21st-century and engaging,” said Della Curtis, coordinator for
The use of video on demand is nothing new for schools. A growing number of districts–including such large school systems as the
School district officials aim to implement the system district-wide to “support the entire curriculum, and make it multimedia,” said Andrew Schlessinger, CEO of Library Video Company. He added that
The video content isn’t hosted on Library Video’s servers, Schlessinger said, but instead resides on the district’s network, much like a YouTube-style environment–but one that is controlled and targeted specifically for the school field.
Content from producers such as PBS, National Geographic, and Scholastic also was a plus, she said.
“It’s a delivery system for our own knowledge assets,” and not just Library Video’s content, Curtis said.
Each school’s principal is responsible for implementation, and he or she is in charge of selecting a SAFARI Montage leadership team that will provide school-based leadership to ensure an effective transition. These teams are getting professional development and guidance from the district’s LIS and instructional technology offices.
From the district’s LIS web site, staff members have access to several academic exercises and activities that already have incorporated SAFARI content to enhance the curriculum. Teachers can incorporate video clips into their lessons and can view videos showing best teaching practices, such as a science-experiment guide that shows how the experiment should be conducted.
“What was really phenomenal was that in 169 schools, it only took two and a half weeks to put a server in every school and set up logins for teachers,” Curtis said. “So for those who would say [implementing such a project is too much trouble], that’s the legacy for this project–it’s surprising how quickly it was deployed and how quickly teachers were using the system.”
Curtis said SAFARI Montage’s presence will help the district address these recommendations–one of which was that “our curriculum needs to actively engage kids.”
“Giving kids the tools they’re used to using and bringing them into the classroom is going to be a lot more motivating than a textbook,” she concluded.
Baltimore County Public Schools