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Scottsbluff schools to change online education resource

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Scottsbluff schools to change online education resource

Scottsbluff Public Schools is expecting to implement a new online education resource to help teachers utilize quality learning programs in the classroom. Safari Montage will feature educational and news-based videos for instructors to use during instruction.

Scottsbluff Public Schools will soon change its source for online education resources to help improve student education.

When its Brain Pop subscription ran out in December, the SBPS school district began looking forward to implementing Safari Montage into K-12 and Educational Services Unit #13 classrooms. Scottsbluff High School Technology Integration Specialist Justin Gipe addressed the SBPS school board on the new website last Monday during the monthly meeting and said the district doesn’t have the Safari Montage program running just yet since ESU#13 is still conducting negotiations.

“I believe it’s a go now and we should be getting this pretty soon,” he said.

Safari Montage will allow the district to stream thousands of videos for every grade level. Gipe said the highlights of the program are educational videos from A&E, National Geographic, PBS and news providers such as ABC.

Elementary schools are scheduled to use the K-8 Supercore Content Package, which has close to 6,000 videos. Bluffs Middle School and SHS is also scheduled to use the K-12 supercore Content Package and will have access to over 7,000 videos.

A large benefit to the program is the videos are all meta-tagged, which allows teachers to easily find topics for their classrooms.

“The real power of this will not be the sheer amount of videos and quality of videos, but it is also going to be that they (teachers) can create playlists,” Gipe said. “Within each video, they’ll be able to scrub them down and cut out clips and play snippets, instead of playing the whole thing.”

Safari is expected to be a valuable asset to the classroom. Gipe said the online resource is the only entity that offers full-length PBS videos to K-12 schools, which, he added, is a bonus to the district.

Another benefit from Safari will come in the future since it allows the district to have an online repository for videos. Gipe said the district will see how that benefit progresses after teachers work with the program more.

“Any videos that our teachers create, they can upload and save them in Safari Montage,” he said. “Teachers within our own district and ESU #13 will also be able to access it, which means we will get new videos from other teachers and classrooms that will allow us to communicate with them as well.”

Instructors will also have access to an online video portion that allows them to hold video conferences with other classrooms in ESU #13 and across the nation. As of late, the district doesn’t have full access to Safari, there is limited availability for uploading content, and the district is waiting for the go-ahead.

The district plans to start training teachers on the program soon. There will be ongoing trainings throughout the year. Students will be able to access Safari on their own in the future.

“As this grows, we are going to continue training and teach teachers different aspects of the site because there is quite a bit to it,” he said.

For more information on Safari Montage visit http://www.safarimontage.com/Content/Default.aspx.

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