Eduvision, by JDL Horizons, is exactly what I needed—I just didn’t know it existed. As an elementary iPad Lab teacher, my students and I are constantly creating videos using a variety of apps. Frequently, students create videos for assessment and skill practice. Additionally, I create videos to teach technology concepts to parents and teachers. YouTube seemed like an obvious place to store and share the videos. It was free and easy to use. However, it had definitive downfalls. It was a public forum, thereby requiring specific guidelines to ensure student safety. Not to mention I’d receive the occasional complaint about an inappropriate video or ad popping up on the screen. However, I was unaware of any other option—until Eduvision popped up on my radar.
Eduvision is an educator’s dream. While it is not free (around $1500 for an elementary school account), an account can be used by an entire school and is an amazing value. Once an Eduvision account is created, your school is given its own internet video management system portal. This video portal serves as the school’s personal YouTube where one can create unlimited channels and users, then upload a limitless number of videos. Individual teachers can be assigned their own channels to which they can post their content as well as set-up sub-channels for student uploads. Flipping a classroom? The Eduvision Relay Recorder is an amazingly easy tool for both students and teachers! Your students can create videos demonstrating reading fluency; this becomes a safe place for video posting as you can set password protection or make the video private then share a link or embed code with those you want to have access.
Having total control over your Eduvision site is a huge advantage. A site administrator sets up the portal and creates channels and channel managers. Channel managers are then able to create Contributors, who can post to the site. Contributor videos must first be approved by a Site Admin, or Channel Manager before they can be viewed by site visitors. These features ensure safe, reliable, and appropriate content. To make things even easier, individual videos and even the entire portal itself can be embedded in the school’s current website, making navigation seamless. Sharing videos are as easy as asking parents to go to the school’s website, click on the Eduvision page, and find their child’s teacher’s channel or I could I can email a direct link to the video. When clicked the relevant video appears and plays on browsers and mobile devices. Prior to Eduvision, I would have to send home the link to each video for each child in order to make navigating YouTube manageable. Hours of time have magically been saved—something a teacher always needs more of.
Another advantage to Eduvision is their newest feature—quizzing. Teachers who flip classrooms now have an option to stop the video and add interactive questions for students to answer. All answers are sent automatically to a spreadsheet, and results can be directly uploaded into a variety of grading systems.
Upon exploration, I also discovered that Eduvision has live streaming options available. Live streaming involves producing live events and sending them through Eduvision over the Internet so they can be watched live from any location with internet access. I first became interested in live streaming when a kindergarten teacher was hatching chicks in her classroom. The chicks were scheduled to make their debut over a holiday, and the kids were going to miss it. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could live stream the eggs hatching so the kids wouldn’t miss out on this amazing opportunity?” I got really excited and began experimenting with live streaming. Unfortunately, my school’s bandwidth (the amount of the Internet available) was much too small! It wouldn’t work. I was heartbroken that my students would miss this event. Once again JDL came to my rescue. While talking to the staff, I explained my previous obstacles and was met with enthusiasm, as Eduvision uses unique software that minimizes the amount of bandwidth needed. Even with my school’s small bandwidth, live streaming with Eduvision was a success!
Now my wheels really began turning! Live streaming was great for chicks, but imagine the possibilities! Out-of-town relatives, home-bound grandparents, and parents at work will now be able to attend awards assembly, music programs, and graduations virtually! Your class presenting a readers theater performance? Live to stream it! Spelling Bee? Live to stream it! Morning announcements? Live stream them! The streaming is sent directly to the school’s Eduvision site and can be programmed to play as the default video when someone visits the page, making viewing extremely easy. Worried about student privacy? Events can be password protected, creating an additional layer of security. At my school, students whose parents asked that their faces and work not be published online were given an additional permission form asking about live streaming. They were specifically asked about events in which their child will be recognizable (not just sitting in the audience or chorus) and was assured that all events would be password protected. Because the site is private and events are password protected, we had very little trouble obtaining parent permission.
The staff at JDL Horizons are extraordinarily patient and available to answer any and all questions. When a simple email or phone call was not enough we used Skype and Google Hangout so I could share my screen. Everything was explained in a way I could understand and the staff was extremely patient and experienced
Eduvision is a comprehensive site and a great value for any school.
Katie Chirhart is a National Board Certified Teacher and has been teaching for sixteen years. She has specializations in early childhood and reading. Recently, she finished her Campus Technology Certification. She began her career in College Station, TX teaching a full inclusion pre-kindergarten class. Currently, Katie lives and works in Shreveport, LA. After spending ten years teaching third grade, she now teaches in an elementary iPad Lab. She has earned When time allows, she enjoys working with teachers far and wide sharing the wonders of technology. Her current job is a dream come true.