Monday, April 13, 2015

Transitioning Away from MediaCAST

A lot has changed in streaming media since 2008, the year that BVSD adopted a video streaming platform called MediaCAST to replace the VHS tapes and DVDs that circulated throughout the district. The amount and quality of streaming resources available on the internet prompted us to reevaluate our need for this type of service. After reviewing the content, quality, and use of the resource, and through extensive discussion and feedback from various stakeholder groups, we are ending our contract with MediaCAST at the end of the 2014-15 school year, contingent upon our bandwidth increasing this summer.

Three factors weighed heavily on this decision:

  1. Stakeholder feedback — Feedback from MediaCAST focus groups*, coupled with a district-wide survey on MediaCAST, showed that usage was low and that content was not available anytime/anywhere and on any device.

  1. Availability of other media — Free, educational streaming sites, which better meet the needs defined by our stakeholder groups, are now available online. Examples include Kahn Academy, Bill Nye, Discovery Education and many more.
  2. Cost — MediaCAST includes expensive onsite hardware and subscription fees.

*Focus groups included members from Instructional Services and Equity (ISE), teacher librarians, tech contacts, teachers, administration and other support staff.

What is replacing MediaCAST?

A combination of resources will replace MediaCAST, including free, educational streaming sites. There are an increasing number of these types of sites now than there were in 2008, and the number is growing to meet the demand for quality, online content.

Ed Tech has also started a shared spreadsheet of streaming resources that can replace MediaCAST videos. We encourage you to contribute your favorite videos to these lists so that others can benefit.

Example of a TED Ed video:

How can I get support in moving away from MediaCAST?

If you rely on specific videos within MediaCAST, please let us know what they are by filling out this form. BVSD Ed Tech is working with stakeholder groups, including the ISE directors, to make sure that this content is available elsewhere or replaced with online options.

For more information and FAQs, visit our MediaCAST webpage.

Please chime in below with your thoughts about the transition from MediaCAST to more modern media streaming tools at BVSD.