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Michigan School District Turns to Digital Video

A Michigan school district has upgraded its video distribution system from analog to digital in an effort to centralize management in the district office.

Chippewa Valley Schools (CVS), based in Clinton Township, began looking at digital video options in the spring of 2011 with the help of Metro Technology Services. Ultimately, the district selected Safari Montage for its digital media distribution system, and Sentinel Technologies in Crystal Falls, MI, installed the system in the fall of 2011.

Features of Safari Montage include:

  • Integration with whiteboards, supporting a variety of file types, including Promethean ActivBoard, SmartBoard, Hitachi StarBoard, and eInstruction Workspace;
  • The ability to upload files using the Safari Montage Creation Station;
  • Pre-loaded educational videos from media outlets such as bio, ABC News, Schoolouse Rock!, Bill Nye the Science Guy, History Channel, National Geographic, and PBS;
  • A dashboard interface that allows instructors to create digital media playlists and multimedia lesson plans for each of their classes, and provides access to digital television from select distributors, DVR files, a listing of scheduled video reservations, and Internet streams; and
  • The ability to search media by format, such as videos, images, audio, flipcharts, interactive resources, documents, Web-based material, and e-books.

In addition, Safari Montage can be accessed through a free iOS app available via iTunes.

"I knew we had made the right choice with Safari Montage when I started getting unsolicited emails from teachers," said McBain. "The most memorable one simply said that Safari Montage was the best thing since sliced bread," said Craig McBain, director of technology.

According to information released by the company, CVS teachers especially appreciated the math resources, high video resolution (especially when using Smart Boards, which were recently installed in the district), and playlists, which let teachers develop digital lesson plans by combining multimedia files.

Chippewa Valley school district has more than 16,200 enrolled students in grades K-12. It has 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, two ninth-grade freshman centers and four high schools.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.