Resources · Technology

A New Teaching Resource

For most of last year we had a pretty regular rhythm of events in our home educating lives.  One of those rhythms was the fact that we had ‘Film Friday’.  Each Friday morning we would head out to our local video store and pick up something to watch.  One video each – the kids getting what you would expect, Tinkerbell or Danger Mouse.  I would get some sort of documentary for us all to watch together.  Eventually we ran out of choice on the learning front, and in an even quicker time we exhausted the supply from our local library too.

This all led me to go all high tech on things.  I have many friends who *stream* their television and movie watching, but other than knowing it could be done I had no clue.  I went to everyone’s friend Google and asked how I could get content from my computer and on to my television.  Google sent me to YouTube.  YouTube told me I needed a plug and a cable and the world would be my oyster.

That’s when I encountered The Problem.  My computer is too old. (Yes, four years old is ANCIENT in computer years.) The special plug was no longer available, even from the manufacturer.  The air turned blue around me.  I ended up at a big box store and tried to find a solution with them.  They sold me an Apple TV box.

That’s when I encountered The Second Problem.  Despite telling the big box store staff what type and age of computer I had, they clearly didn’t think that it would be a problem for my now decidedly geriatric computer to use.  Well.  It was.  Once again the air turned blue around me.  Even my much newer iPhone wasn’t meant to be up for the task.  The only item in the whole household was Mr Oh Waily’s phone and that was at work with him.

I had my own special blue air zone for most of that frustrating day.

However when Mr Oh Waily arrived home and I swiped his phone, I was still thinking that I would require it to be permanently stationed beside my little black Apple TV box.  But as I found, when Mr Oh Waily inconsiderately took his phone off with him the next morning, we didn’t actually need it at all once we connected the ATV box to our wireless network.

The next blue patch of air turned up when I stumbled into The Third Problem – connecting Apple TV to my YouTube account.  This one involved quite a lot of blue air for quite a long time, until I finally worked out how to get the two of them to talk to each other.  It was not all *plug and play* like the technology manufacturers would like you to think.

In the end, it was worth all of the struggle and strife.  We can now link in to our YouTube account and play all manner of documentaries, tutorials and sundry entertainments.  Flavour of the month, ongoing, is the wonderful Mythbusters.  Not a day goes by without one or other child asking to watch or re-watch, or re-re-watch an episode with Jamie and Adam*.  Science learning in a fun and entertaining format.  Gotta love that.

So, if you want to expand your documentary access or tutorial access, then you can’t go past figuring out how to get YouTube videos playing on your TV.  It is brilliant.

If you want to see what we’ve collected so far, come visit us at our YouTube Channel, you might find something you’d like to watch amongst our playlists.  And if you forget to bookmark the playlists, then all you need to do is click on this link in the sidebar to skip right over.

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Happy viewing & learning everyone!


* Yes, they are talked about like old friends by our children.

 

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