If you use video in the classroom, whether it’s a grade school or a university, you should know about SnapStream. This hardware/software combination mixes a DVR and a search engine, letting you record up to 10 shows at a time with the basic system, then archive them and search their contents for exactly the material you want.
SnapStream achieves this by relying on the closed captioning data sent with every broadcast program. It archives not just the video, but the transcript as well, and then lets users pinpoint exactly the content they’re looking for.
The system is already in wide use in several industries. It’s how the writers of The Daily Show are able to find the perfect embarrassing moments for whatever politician is in the news. It’s also used by local and state governments.
If you’re new to SnapStream, this is a good time to learn about it. The fifth generation was just released, and it includes several improvements requested by users. Customers can now build server clusters with Snapstream, to record and archive more programs at once. They can also add extra storage and create more robust systems with mirrored configurations.
One of the company’s biggest markets is education, where SnapStream is used in everything from kindergarten to journalism school. To find out how it can be used to deliver better video to the classroom, we spoke to Rakesh Agrawal, SnapStream’s founder.
1. SnapStream works with existing infrastructure.
You can stream video right through whatever system you have in place, since SnapStream doesn’t require its own cable infrastructure. You can use your existing LAN and even your existing SMART Board and projector.
2. SnapStream lets you create a digital archive.
Finding the right clips to illustrate your lessons is easy when you’ve got a huge database of programs and an easy way to search it.
3. SnapStream works across a district.
If a configuration is set up with a central cluster accessible by many schools, a district can save money by all using the same system.
4. SnapStream lets you pull clips for various programs.
If you want to add a brief video to a PowerPoint presentation, SnapStream lets you pull the right clip and download it to your computer.
5. SnapStream makes content analysis easy.
Content analysis is a common exercise in journalism schools, where, for example, students might monitor how news programs used certain expressions in a given time frame. While it used to take many long hours to monitor programs, SnapStream’s search tools can deliver the same results in seconds.
If you’re interested in trying SnapStream for your school, servers start at around $10,000 with an annual fee of 10 percent of the total system cost. Visit the site for more info.