In an earlier update, we discussed our project to look for a replacement to Discovery Education Streaming (posted at: http://wp.me/p1JF02-6P ) – and that Safari Montage was our lead candidate.
Last week, we finished setting up the pilot equipment and are now ready to announce how the pilot testing will be conducted…
Q1. I’m interested in testing it out!! How do I get started?
A1. Jackie Neuberger is making arrangements now to setup some quick introductory sessions that will be held afterschool during the next few weeks. Any teacher who wants to have access to test out the system is welcome attend. Look for an email from Jackie in the next week that will list all of the available dates/times.
Q2. How long do we have to pilot/test out the system?
A2. The pilot will end on Jan 14th. At that time, Safari Montage will take the equipment back and we’ll review the usage stats and user feedback to determine if it is a suitable replacement for DE Streaming.
Q3. Can parents access the system during the pilot?
A3. No.. at this time, access is being given to classroom teachers. In fact, Safari Montage’s licensing is different from DE Streaming – there are no generic accounts, only staff and student will have accounts into the system. There is an additional component available that creates a public portal – to allow parents to view content that was created by students, but that is not included in the pilot testing.
Q4. What feature/capabilities are available during the piloting/testing?
* Ability to search, select, and playback content (including thousands of videos for all content areas, including 3D interactive simulations in Science)
* Ability to create playlists, both private and public. Private lists allow teachers to more easily access content they want to use and public lists allow them to create lists to share with students.
* Play TV – during the pilot, we were only allowed to stream 1 channel, which has been set to CNN. Also, the streaming of TV channels is limited to wired desktops – and is not available to wireless devices. There’s a cost for each channel that is provided – so long term, our guess is that only 7 channels would be available.
Q5. What feature/capabilities can be added to the system in the future (and are NOT available now)?
* Ability to upload our own video content – so that it can be stored in the system and shared with others (staff and/or students).
* Ability to record TV channels: You can electronically make a reservation to have PBS recorded this evening from 7pm to 8pm, so that you can play it back later.
* Ability to set up a public portal – a public website where specific videos can be published for parents and community to watch student or staff created content.
* Ability to stream live events to the web.
* Ability to rebroadcast web streams – for example, we could make the Decorah Eagle Cam available through Safari Montage, which would free up significant internet bandwidth for other purposes.
Q6. Are we going to buy ALL of the additional feature sets listed in question 5?
It’s unlikely that we can afford all of the feature sets. In addition, there are other options for some of the specific features. However, we’d be interested in hearing from staff, students, or parents regarding which of the additional feature sets are most desirable – and why….