October 2007

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2007.

I am fortunate enough to teach in a school that provides both Discovery Education Streaming and Safari Montage for streaming video. They both contain good content (from different media companies), but there are a few differences. Here is a rundown of those differences (presented in alphabetical order):

de-streamingDiscovery Education Streaming (formerly United Streaming)

  • Accessible anywhere via internet (on-site server available at extra cost)
  • Individual teacher signup required
  • Streaming video, audio, sound effect, articles, quizzes, events, lesson plans, images, clip art, etc
  • 4,000+ video titles
  • All content downloadable, some editable
  • Content can be made available with password protection (i.e. within Blackboard)
  • Some content grainy, lower quality video
  • Professional Development component through Discovery Education and the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) including webinars, online training, regional support, and much more
  • Content: Discovery & Discovery Education Titles (including Planet Earth), Suburst, AIMS Multimedia, Weston Woods, and many others

safari_splashSafari Montage

  • On-site server only = no outside access, but reliable intranet connection
  • No individual teacher signup necessary
  • Streaming video only
  • 1,000+ video titles
  • Broadcast quality video
  • Content: WGBH/PBS, Schlesinger Media, National Geographic, Sesame Street, BBC, A&E, Disney Education, etc.


The content from each provider is quite different, so educators of different levels and content areas might prefer one service over another (for instance, DE Streaming has some exceptional content for high school science, and Safari Montage carries Bill Nye the Science Guy, which might be better for elementary and middle school science).

The School Library Journal Recently compared the two services, giving DE Streaming an A- and Safari Montage an A+. Safari Montage earned the ‘plus’ distinction due to the higher quality of their videos.

While DE Streaming quality isn’t as good as Safari, DE Streaming offers more for students and teachers. DE Streaming provides a slew of professional development opportunities, more media options and their content is accessible anywhere and is downloadable. This allows DE Streaming content to be more flexible. Some titles are even editable, so educators and students can manipulate them in multimedia presentations.

More on DE Streaming and Safari Montage:

Tags: ,

Today is the Friday of Homecoming week, and you can feel the energy pulsing through the students and staff in the building. During the week we have plenty of spirit building activities, such as dress-up days, music in the halls, voting for homecoming court, penny wars between the student classes, and a float-building party with bonfire and games on Thursday night.

As we get closer to the pep assembly and game on Friday, the students’ minds drift farther away from the classroom. This can be an obvious frustration for any educator who doesn’t want to waste class time. I see many teachers showing movies for entertainment, giving large tests, or simply shutting down and letting their classes talk the entire hour about their weekend plans.


One way that I engage my chemistry students right up until the pep assembly is with a margarine lab. Essentially, the students select a margarine sample, heat it up until is separates into oil and water, freeze the oil, and extract the water. By getting the mass at each step, they are able to easily calculate the percent of water in margarine.

I am watching my students do the lab right now. They are active, engaged, enjoying the oh-so-buttery-good smell in the lab, and even doing a little math. In fact, it’s the same math that we will see in the future when calculating % composition. It’s perfect activity to keep my students active and even trick them into learning.

On a day like this, what are your tricks to keep students motivated to learn?

Tags: , , ,