Back around the turn of the century when I taught Computer Science and Business Education, we had days allocated to professional development. One day was laid on by the board for board initiatives and the other was a federation day where we got together by subject discipline. Thusly inspired, we were good to go for another year. My how things have changed. Video was big as well – we had a media centre and could book video to arrive via courier and then book the television to play the video when it was needed. Of course, the television was always available when it was needed. At the PD events, we could even preview the one or two computer science videos that might be bought in a particular year and then see if they fit into our curriculum.
Fast forward to today and think of the advantages we have.
The well connected educator can read and participate with professional learning almost any hour of the day or night. Given a network big enough, there’s always someone smart that you can contact at a moment’s notice. I’ve often said that the Computer Science teacher is the loneliest one in a school. There’s usually just one of you; who do you bounce ideas off? What about the one or two computer videos that might be available? How do you know what’s good and what’s worth the time?
Of course, we don’t have these exact problems anymore. With the amount of video that’s online, you just go to your favourite video service and grab one.
But there’s a better way. After all, who wants to preview all the videos of a cat flushing the toilet?
“Films For Action is a community-powered learning library for people who want to change the world. Watch over 1,500 films. Add and rate content. Join us!”
You can enter at the root level, but take a look at the Wall of Films.
The intention is clearly to maintain a collection of video that is significant in the subject area. I poked around in the Technology and Design area. http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch_technology_and_design_videos/
As with all video, you’re going to want to preview, make sure that the copyright works for your intended use, etc. but I think you’ll find this to be a nice collection for a particular purpose.
Think of the things that are now possible like assigning a video to watch for homework since your students are so well connected.
And when someone longs for the good ol’ days of education, send them here and remind them that there was a time when technical support was largely the question “Do you have the TV set to Channel 3?”