I have recently come across two interesting blog posts about streaming video. A recent NYT piece by describes state of the art technology for HD on demand movies. I also read on Mashable that Netflix has recently added three hundred of foreign and indie titles to its rapidly growing number of "instant watching" features.
Now, frankly, I am not eager to move into regular viewing of streaming movies. I like big screen viewing and DVD features. I also don't want to deal with the buffering issues or other baggage the HD streaming technology currently carries with it.
But....my students sure do use streaming video. I am amazed by how many films they are able to track down online -- legitimately posted and otherwise. And I started thinking about how an emerging consumer technology might once again improve the film class I teach.
A few years ago, when I switched from VHS to DVD my entire approach to discussing the films changed too. DVDs made it practical to review several different clips during discussion-- something out of the question with tape due to winding. Nevertheless, I still have to spend the obligatory 2 hours or so (usually three full class periods) in order to watch the entire film in class. In fact, last year, when I decided to add a documentary film to the mix, I bought four discs to loan, so that we didn't have to use precious class time for viewing.
But what if students could obtain all or most the films through a source like Netflix. For a few bucks per month, they could watch the film on home or at during study periods (We are a 1:1 school), and I would suddenly have so much more time. We could actually visit more films and/or consider them in greater depth. Some kind of classroom license for for the service something to dream about as well. That would be pretty awesome for our learners (and would be an opportunity for the providers to introduce their service to consumers).
Ten years from now, the DVDs we now use may seem as quaint as the reel-to-reels that were on the scene when I started teaching. Any thoughts?
Screen capture of Vudu's home page.
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