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Getting Television into the Classroom

A case study of Tri-Rivers Career Center, an academic and vocational education center


Tri-Rivers Career Center uses the SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance to deliver recorded television to classrooms for vocational training courses.

The Situation

The Tri-Rivers Career Center offers academic and technical courses to high school students and adults.  Their vocational training courses, which range from automotive technology to culinary arts, demand specialized instruction, with both hands-on and multimedia components.  Teachers find that television programs on channels like the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and programming through Cable in the Classroom provide invaluable visual aids for understanding trades and technology.

Until recently, the Career Center had no school-wide solution in place for using recorded TV in classrooms.  Classrooms had broadcast television, but no cable, and thus no access to specialty channels of interest.  The only way for a teacher to access these programs was to record them personally at home. Most classrooms did not even have cable-ready televisions. In order to gain access to instructional programming on cable TV, Tri-Rivers faced the prospect of having to run cable drops to each of more than 50 classrooms in the facility, at considerable expense, which also would have included dozens of new televisions.

The Solution

Now, the Career Center’s central office uses a SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance to record a variety of regularly scheduled cable TV programs that educate viewers about trades and technology. With SnapStream’s ShowSqueeze utility, the appliance automatically converts recordings into Windows Media.  The Tri-Rivers IT department uses program information from the SnapStream program guide to create a list of recorded shows, including a brief synopsis of each recorded program.  This “menu” of recordings is made available to teachers, who can choose the shows that are relevant to their classroom course. Using Windows Media Player, teachers can then stream shows directly to an existing classroom computer connected to a wall projector.  They can easily start and stop a streaming program or switch from one to another.

“We’ve been able to increase both the availability of recorded programs and teachers’ flexibility in making use of them,” says Technology Coordinator Rob Sexton. “SnapStream enhances the classroom experience for both students and teachers.”

The Results

The SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance gives Tri-Rivers instant access to a library of recorded television with a single turnkey solution. Added benefits include:

Reduced Television Distribution/Cost: Having a single cable run to the Enterprise TV appliance and distributing recorded television through PCs over the LAN avoids the costs of delivering television to each classroom.

Effortless Scheduling/Recording: Before teachers would each look through TV guides for pertinent programming. Now the IT department is able to use SnapStream’s Program Guide and schedule regular recordings, giving teachers a list of pre-recorded programs to choose from, as well as providing the opportunity for ad-hoc recordings

Unlimited Access: Not only teachers, but students are able to access recorded shows through the LAN to catch up or review previously viewed programming for further understanding.

Academic Enrichment: Using the SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance Tri-Rivers is able incorporate educational programming into lesson plans to enrich the academic curriculum. 

About Tri-Rivers

Tri-Rivers Career Center and Center for Adult Education offers high school and adult students the opportunity to obtain a career through academic and career related training.  Their goal to provide high quality education and services while celebrating excellence has allowed them to be a significant educational and training contributor to the North Central Ohio area.

Figures


Figure 1: Teachers are able to access and incoporate live TV into lesson plans.


Figure 2: A teacher displaying current events in support of a discussion topic.


Figure 3: Students have access to recorded television in the Tri-Rivers computer lab through the SnapStream Link client.


Figure 4: A student accessing the Enterprise TV appliance through the SnapStream Link Client.


Figure 5: The SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance resides in the Career Center’s server room.