Before we start in on this conversation, I want to say that I KNOW none of you use television regularly as an instructional tool. You ALWAYS rely on interactive, student-based hands-on learning experiences and would NEVER plop your students down in front of a video. The point of this forum is to look at technologies like Descriptive Video Service (DVS) and Closed Captioning (CC) as examples of alternative methods of presenting information. If a student cannot, for whatever reason, see or hear what you are doing in the classroom, these tools might represent ways in which they might be able to access the information or interaction that is taking place.
DVS and CC are technology that may be helpful for people with visual impairments or hearing impairments when they are "watching" a movie or television program. With these technology, the scenes and movements in the movie are described without interrupting the script or other important audio information. You can find out more about DVS and CC at http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/services/.
DVS and CC are available on many television programs, and you can hear it by switching to the SAP (supplemental audio program) channel on your television. It is also available on some videotape and DVD recordings. Check out this technology. You can see an example of both these types of technologies at this website, which, by the way is a great tool for teaching evolution. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/teachstuds/tvideos.html
After you have had a chance to check out DVS and CC, either online or via your own television, please comment in this space: How does DVS compare to the visual information on the screen? How accurate are CC? How might these technologies impact the learning of students who cannot see or hear well? Could you use tools like these in the classroom?