I just recently ran into Current TV and see that it likely has terrific potential for student learning, especially in the area of Language Arts. It bills itself as "The TV Network Created by the People Who Watch It," and it seems to have some really good news items on there, despite the fact that these people are not professional journalists (of course). In a world of increasingly one-sided news channels, perhaps these types of shows will begin to turn the tide back to a democracy in the US?

I know I'm out on a political limb here, so will begin to inch back in...I simply want to know if you all can share ideas for how you've used Current TV in your classes to promote various academic skills?

Tags: CurrentTV, LanguageArts, OpenSource, blogs, democracy, news

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I also loved that video. My students aren't interested in the least about writing a paper, but they'll certainly jump right into telling a story, complete with character, setting, mood, plot points, climax, and falling action in a movie. That to me is communication through Language Arts. By learning in this format, they can easily see what is lacking in the plot line. We do practice written communication every single day in other ways.

I've not used Current TV, but will be introducing it to my students (hopefully this week) as another tool through which to approach/engage them in learning and honing their skills.
Great question. I've started paying attention to Current TV a lot lately -- seems like it's the embodiment of much of what I want to do as a teacher. In fact, I'm currently helping some teachers to teach some digital storytelling right now, and the main "text" for the class is a set of videos produced by Ira Glass for folks working with Current TV.
Weird loop -- but back to your point. I haven't used Current exactly yet, but I'm curious about your question, too. Oh -- here's that video if you're interested:
I love Ira Glass--I've not seen these videos before this and will most definitely be showing them as info from an expert. I love your idea on that.

The kids don't get much instruction from me because there's very little that I'm actually an expert in, and I want them to learn from the best. The idea that teachers are the only "expert" from whom kids need to hear is such a fallacy! We have the world at our finger tips and our kids need to know they can learn anywhere at anytime from anyone in the world.

I'll be trying to include Current TV into the kids' learning. Perhaps I'll include you all in on either the implementation or the products...whichever makes ya'll more comfortable! ;-)
Bud, the Ira Glass videos are just the ticket! Thanks for the lead.
Ginger, Yes! I would love to hear more about how this works out for your class. Thank you for pointing me to this, I had not known about it. I agree wholeheartedly that we can't be experts on everything. When you bring your students into contact with experts and mentors this way, and inspiring samples, you are teaching them by your example to seek out experts and mentors. Thanks bunches for this lead.

On a related but separate note, (dunno, I'll start a thread on this if the answer isn't straightforward, I guess), how and when do you get to use music on a video like young ChildAtHeart did? He gave credit to the groups Air, etc., but I don't think that was exactly within the copyright laws? Or am I missing something?
I'm not sure you do get to use music like that. There are lists out there of "public domain" songs, but usually, those aren't ones that are most effective. However, there are music editing/recording software pieces such as GarageBand for Macs (my kids aren't sure about the same sort of thing for PCs though, so we'll need to hear from those experts). If your students use music they created, it's totally OK! :)
Skip's right in his comment above. However, in my experience, you'll rarely ever receive that permission and it's also good for kids to write their own! But it only helps them by actually asking permission, finding it denied, then having to re-route their plan! You know what's most likely going to happen, but the kids will NEVER forget the invaluable learning experience! Yip, Yipee!
Oh, I'm sorry--I'm not sure I was clear earlier when I said, "it's also good for kids to write their own." I actually meant write their own music.

BUT, I like the idea of a video request for music permission. It's much more difficult to turn down a kid when you've heard his/her voice, seen the face, and seen a snippet or two of the project! I wonder if anyone has every attempted this!

I just went to Current TV and on the front page was a video of a woman giving birth. I dug a little deeper and found a category labeled, " Sex & Relationships." I'm not sure if this site wold be an appropriate educational site. Granted I only spent 5 minutes in my evaluation but...... However, I like the concept where students could upload their work and display it to a global audience with other students. I'm sure there are sites out there for children????
On the front page, there is (was) a pic of a woman giving birth, but that's only a trailer from a movie that's coming out (or has already come out) in theatres. While the movie itself is rated R, the trailer seems to be mild, especially if you watch anything on regular TV past 8pm (not even counting cable TV).

However, as with anything on the internet (including Ning networks), we need to know where our kids are playing and continue to have conversations about how to react to what they'll see out there. I'd hope that the people who are currently (or who are considering) uploading to CurrentTV would be working with at least middle school aged kids. I'm sure there are sites out there for children--I'm simply pondering educational benefits to places where our kids are already playing, posting, and loving.

I'd hate to discount the educational benefits of something with so much promise, because of a few corners of "weirdness." Heck, if that was the case, I'd have to ban the entire internet from my school! (just kidding) But seriously, safety is a real issue and we each need to consider our own individual comfort zones in working with families in any location--virtual or actual.



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