Q: How does Schoolyard Films provide such a great resource for FREE? (I don't get it.)
A: Thank you for asking!
All Schoolyard Films media (films and study guides) are FREE to educators and students worldwide. There is no catch, and there is no advertising. (Really!) Because we are a 501(c)3 educational charity, we are able to solicit funds from foundations, corporations, and individuals. These grants fund our production budgets, and then we're in the clear to give away our films and study guides for free. Reaching, we hope, the largest viewership possible. So far it's working well and we continue to build a community of like-minded people who want to help. If you want to contribute, or know someone who does, please look for the SYF PayPal Donate Button... but no matter what, our work is available to everyone for FREE. We want teachers to use our resources and build on them for their own lesson plans and programs. Share what you have done with Schoolyard Films resources in the SYF Forum so that others can benefit from your experiences! What we all do and share with our students in a classroom matters. Thank you !
Q: How do I view or download any of the Schoolyard films on my computer, tablet or smart phone?
A: It's easy! Just find the film that you want to watch on our website and click on one of the links below it.
If you have any Apple device, just use the link for iTunes U and then pick the Schoolyard Film (and any Study Guides) that you want and they will download into the familiar iTunes application on your device. That's it!
If you have a PC computer, iTunes is also available for you, from Apple, for FREE! A link is provided in SYF's "Download Requirements" and (conveniently) here: Apple - iTunes - Download iTunes Now
iTunes is pre-installed on all Mac Computers (all models), iPad Tablets, iPhones and iPod Touches.
All Apple Mobile devices can access all Schoolyard Films Media for Free through iTunes U:
Just in case you need it, the iTunes U App (Directly from Apple) for any Apple Mobile device is available for FREE here: Apple - Apps - iTunes U (It even makes the access easier!)
Full HD (High Definition) films are available, and if you need to conserve your memory use and speed up performance on older devices, SD (Standard Definition) films are also provided. They are clearly marked. (Pick HD, if you can, as the images really "Pop" and the films look great when projected or on a big screen TV!)
After downloading the film that you want to watch, open iTunes on your device and look for "Recently Added" and they will be at the top of the list and ready to view! If you are using them later, you can Search for Schoolyard Films or the Title of the Film and find them in your iTunes Library. Videos will be in the "Movies" or the iTunes U section. On a computer (Mac or PC ! ) you can drag the video file out of iTunes and view it on any device as a stand-alone QuickTime video. It will play on ANY QuickTime compatible device… really!
If you need a Free QuickTime Player for your PC Computer, click here: Apple - Support - Downloads
More downloading options for PCs and Android Mobile devices (with a simple web browser-based interface) is now available through PBS's "Learning Media."
Link to all of the Schoolyard Films resources on the PBS site here: PBS LearningMedia/SchoolyardFilms
It is an amazing site and Schoolyard Films is glad to be a contributing partner!
Q: Why are your films so short? (10 - 30 minutes? Wow!)
A: That's a great question! We have "Day Jobs…" We are producers, directors, photographers and educators who have worked in Broadcast Wildlife films for prominent production companies for many years, we still do. Schoolyard Films are DESIGNED to work well in a classroom environment. They are short, but feature and content rich. They work well within the timeframe of a single classroom session… giving the instructor time to conduct the regular and necessary "business" of their class each day AND allow for a full viewing of the Schoolyard Film and then also to include time for Study Guide activities and meaningful classroom discussions about the topics presented in the films. These are not just "Rainy-day" or Substitute supplements, but fully realized lessons that fit with your programs and fulfill State and National required Science Standards.
You're welcome! ;)
Did we mention that EVERYTHING on SYF is FREE? ...It is!
Q: Schoolyard seems pretty "Apple Centric" … what's up with that?
A: We have enjoyed a great relationship with the National Science Foundation's Digital Library and "Hosting / Serving" all SYF Media from Apple's iTunes U's big, safe, and fast servers worldwide. We use Apple products in our personal and professional lives in everything from communications to film editing. That said, we also have other products and other devices. We want them ALL to work for you, the end user. We always want a safe and future-proof way to deliver Schoolyard Films Media. iTunes is constantly updated (directly by Apple) and is FREE and available for both Apple and PC computers. (Really… it works on PC's just fine!) All Apple mobile devices like all iPhones, iPad Airs, iPads and even iPod "Touches" can access Schoolyard Films for free in a safe (virus and advertising free) way.
This is a big deal: None of us want uncontrolled advertising or other messaging finding its way to our students… even with the potential enhanced benefits of revenue. There are no "Click throughs," Ad placements nor revenue streams associated with the Schoolyard Film's Site or Links to Schoolyard Media… None!
"Linux" computers and "Android" compatible mobile devices can play QuickTime files that we deliver through iTunes… so it is not very difficult to "Share" these files from Apple users with non-Apple users. ("Drag and Drop" them to a "Jump Drive" and move them around! We don't care… just please, don't try to sell them! Really… don't do it, after all, they're free!)
For all Non-Apple users, and for all of you who discover the rich educational resource that is "PBS Learning Media," Schoolyard Films is available on PBSlearningmedia.org. It is super searchable and very Meta Data rich for those teachers looking for specific topics and resources to enhance their lesson planning. PBS/SchoolyardFilms
Our pledge: If you want to use Schoolyard Films Media in your classroom, we will find a way to get it to you safely and Free.