NAMTC Member News
Submitted By: Anneliese Brown, Visual Learning Co. - Web Site: www.visuallearningco.com
Digital Science for Use with iPods
Brandon, VT; March 6, 2008
Visual Learning Company (VLC), an independent producer of core-curricular science videos for elementary and middle school classrooms, has launched the Digital Science Video Library, one of the first educational science video collections specifically formatted for iPods. Over 130 middle school and elementary full shows and 1000 video clips are available in H.264 digital format, which uses the latest video compression technology to provide high quality video in a small file. VLC is one of the first companies to offer this next generation file format, which works seamlessly with iPods and does not require re-encoding.
H.264 is the preferred format for iTunes and iPods on account of its ability to produce a crisp, clear image from a small amount of video data. This saves bandwidth, downloads faster than other digital files, and takes up less space on a hard drive. Older generations of digital video formats can be re-encoded for use with iPods, but doing so is time consuming and reduces video quality, resulting in blurred images that quickly lose students’ attention.
After importing the Digital Science Video Library into iTunes, a user can quickly and easily search by keyword through over 1000 one- to three-minute video clips, each covering a specific topic. This eliminates the time-consuming task of manually searching through full-length videos. These clips can be integrated into a classroom lesson, enabling teachers to show a brief video segment and then provide an in-class demonstration or discussion. Teachers have the option to play the clips and full videos at individual computer workstations, project them to a larger screen, or sync them to an iPod.
Educators have found that iPods engage students and get them excited about learning, accommodate students’ multiple learning styles, limit outside distractions and help students focus, and are ideal for individualized instruction. iPods also enhance reading comprehension by combining visual reinforcement with audio information, which is particularly helpful for English Language Learners. In addition, their portability enables teachers to plan their curriculum at home and students can use them to reinforce concepts learned in class. Joshua Nielsen, a middle school science teacher in Wichita Falls, TX, exclaims, “I absolutely love the videos. The quality and ease of use is extreme…With the iPods, I am able to send an absent student to the library to catch up. I also use it to preview the videos at home. My way of teaching has changed for the better now that I have access to [VLC] videos.”
Owned by video producers who are also experienced educators, VLC produces award-winning science videos for grades 3-8. It is their mission to help students meet national and state standards, while experiencing the joy and thrill of science. VLC videos feature live-action footage that is filmed on location around the world, and computer animations to illustrate real-world examples of science concepts.