OK - the title of this blog posting is a bit dull!

OK - the title of this blog posting is a bit dull! But it's a very important issue. If, as teachers or trainers, we are going to use video, we have to decide how we are going to play and display it in the classroom. Here are three thoughts regarding the issue:Laptops and handheld devicesWith smaller groups of students, a teacher may be able to use his/her own laptop for playing video to students. Recently, I met a teacher who showed me how she had been using her brand new iPad to display YouTube clips in the classroom. Under the correct circumstances, this can work very well. Importantly, teachers can make use of their own equipment and don't have to worry about the technology that is (or that is not) available in their schools. However, there is a problem: How can we use a laptop or handheld device with large classes when the screen is so small? What is the maximum number of students? Any answers?Interactive whiteboardsTime for a confession: In my whole life, I have used an Interactive Whiteboard only three times. Why do I mention this? Well, because people often mistake me for an 'IWB man". In other words, they assume that since I am a great fan of online video, I must be an Interactive Whiteboard enthusiast. This is not the case. IWBs are not part of my life and I have very little to say about them. Perhaps you would like to comment on how IWBs contribute to the video experience in the classroom?Computer roomsAhhh! There's nothing like a scone and a cup of tea in the afternoon! And there's nothing like a computer, a powerful projector and a screen in the classroom. This latter combination is, to me, a winning formula. The ability to play short video clips on the big screen allows for fantastic teaching possibilities.If you could choose one of the following for your school, which would it be:

  • A slick IT room with 20 computers - at least one for each student in your class. But *no* computer in your classroom.
  • A single computer, projector and screen in your classroom but no IT room in your school.

I know which one I would choose. But I am biased. What do you think?Looking forward to hearing your ideas! :-)


Nowadays,new technological devices are increasingly applied in our daily classroom!Do you think they are all necessary?Of course I am not inclined to deny the positive side of that, but is that possible for teachers to prepare their ppts for every class?

Hey Jamie One way an IWB can be a useful aid in video use is with annotation while a film clip is playing in real time. I found that it's possible to use the camera tool on the IWB to capture a still image from the video (either through YouTube or DVD) and paste it onto a flipchart. When you play the video, the captured image plays on the flipchart as well. This means you can have a smaller image of the clip / film playing on the IWB and type questions at the same time. It works quite well and gets the students thinking as they're watching. cheers Paul

Hello Sean"Do you think they are all necessary?"It's a very difficult question to answer. In some respects, access to technology in the classroom is no more necessary than access to other resources and tools: Maps on the walls, colour pencils, dictionaries, string and clothes pegs, post-it notes.Ideally, teachers will find creative and imaginative ways of using tools and resources in ways that heighten the learning experience for everyone involved. If a teacher stands by an Interactive Whiteboard (for example) as the best thing that he/she has ever had in the classroom, then who is anyone else to disagree?Perhaps 'necessary' is not the best basis on which to judge a technology. After all are mobile phones really necessary? We all survived without them for millennia. But I wouldn't give up mine.What do you think? 

Hello PaulThis sounds like a really useful technique. Just the sort of thing I could use myself. Is it something you use quite frequently? It would be great to see a photograph of the equipment set up and being used in the way you describe (hint, hint ;-)Jamie

 A single computer, projector and screen in your classroom but no IT room in your school....will work in my case ...usually i go to the under privilege schools to teach where i can take my personal laptop and projector ...which is the only solution left with me !! and i think projector and a laptop is must for teching these days.. 

Over on the first article (Video for the English classroom) SteveM mentioned a clever idea: Putting YouTube clips onto an iPod and connecting to the TV. He said that this has revolutionized his teaching life.Steve, I am wondering if you could tell us:

  1. How you get the YouTube clips onto your iPod
  2. How you connect your iPod to your TV
  3. Anything else that it would be interedting to know about

Steve - It would be great to see a photograph equipment in action (but no pressure!)I agree that this could be a fantastic way forward for any teacher who has access to nothing in the classroom but a standard TV set. Look forward to hearing more.

What about using these hardwares and softwares to develop not only other skills but focusing on listening and speaking using a computer? Using very simple software to do speaking drills, listen and repeat exercises and easy listening comprehension using either video or audio sources etc, etc. I am aware of a system which will allow teachers to set work/homework for students to do either in class or from home where they can create exercises which will enhance the practise of listening and speaking, plus also some other MCQ exercises and also gapfilling. The only thing required from both the teacher and the student would be a computer with an internet connection.
I think this would overcome some of the issues that have been discussed.

Are there any copyright issues if one uses anything taken directly or indirectly from the Web?
And what about content possibly unsuitable for minors?
I'd like to know more about these aspects of using videos in the classroom

If the equipment is modern it's not a problem. 
Modern laptops now have an HDMI port you can connect directly via an HDMI cable to a a modern flatscreen TV using the TV's HDMI socket.
This will allow you to watch and listen to the video clip or whatever you want to show students through the TV from your laptop (the internet, PPoint shows, sound files, dictionaries, intreractive games etc ... )
If the laptop doesn't have an HDMI cable port you will have to buy the appropriate converter for your video output port (the sound may have to be played via speakers attached directly to the Laptop).
To download videoclips I would recommend that you visit a site such as teflclips.com as it shows you how you can exploit clips and download them.  Unfortunately the site is not as active as it was in the past but is still a good starting point.
I would always recommend that you download clips as relying on an internet connections is never a good idea.  It will always fail at the wrong moment!
I have been using this method for more than three years and the results are great.  Almost an IWB!
Good luck!!

Hello from France,
Why can't we have both? OK it sounds greedy but harassing my hierarchy for years I finally got both.
For what it's worth here's a quick pro/con for each
the computer room:
+ allows each student to work happily along at their own pace (they can watch/listen as many times as they deem necessary).
- it implies having a small group of students (18 computers) when more often than not we have 36 kids
- you need to book ahead long before as other teachers might want to use it so your teaching in a computer room leaves little room for impro
my own room:
+ you can change your lesson quickly to react on a burning topic
+ projecting on the white board allows you to write/circle/whatever... as a help or to keep a log of important  items (cultural, linguistic, whatever...)
+ you can keep your students'attention by going from written skills to oral skills within the same lesson and using authentic videos
- can't think of any right now ;)
In any case both have the same problem: technique may fail you at the last moment which is why having a set of printed documents (however disconnected from your lesson) will save the day (at least the lesson)
Keep smiling :)