Beyond Web: Schoolhouse Rock on the Smartboard

In the First Grade classroom where I spend most of my time, we have the Smartboard projector mounted to the wall up near the ceiling. This comes with a plate mounted by the computer table that accepts input for the projector. One is the connection for the computer, then there is S-Video, standard video inputs (red, white and yellow) and a standard cable TV-like connection.

This gave me an idea. I knew that my iPod had video-out capability. It would follow that I should be able, with the right cable, to hook my iPod to the projector/SmartBoard through the wall panel.

Yesterday during snack, we hooked up my iPod Classic using Apple's Composite Video Cable through the wall plate to the projector. I already had Schoolhouse Rock on my iPod so we showed it to the class. It was a big hit but it raises some potential issues and questions.

  1. Is it ok for teachers to bring in outside media to show to students without some sort of approval from somewhere?
  2. What rating is acceptable at which grade level?
  3. Who makes sure that the content is screened and appropriate>
I know you can get Planet Earth from iTunes but I would imagine there are scenes in it which are not appropriate for my students, lion on zebra for instance.

Anyway there it is, yet another technology to use in our classrooms. 

P.S: Which episodes of Schoolhouse Rock do you remember and remember liking the most?


  1. I love the Bill sitting there on Capital Hill and Conjunction Junction, Three is a Magic Number, and the Shot Heard 'Round the World...

    As for your thoughts, I would check building and district policies. Cheryl would know these. In general, most schools automatically approve "G" rated material, and ask teachers to get permission for PG or up. That is the way it works in Trumbull. I have had to sign consent for my 3rd Grader to watch the movie of a Roald Dahl book that the class read together. Most teachers view wildlife videos first to avoid any potentially upsetting violence or embarrassing sexual footage.

  2. I have the same questions! How updated in the district policy? Do we check with our building principal, or is it higher than that?

  3. Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

    Wish I had a Smartboard in my classroom at CM to try this!

  4. As far as I know you check with your administration. I know that in our building there is a "G" rule but I am not clear if it is policy or common sense.

    I think that the most important thing for any teacher who is going to show a movie in a classroom is to watch the whole thing first, don't trust that the rating means that there isn't something in the video that might make someone feel uncomfortable enough to complain about it.


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