Erik Wittmer on unitedstreaming in the Classroom

From Discovery Educator Erik Wittmer:

Where was unitedstreaming back when we all went to school ten-thirty years ago?  Throw out the old film strip players, the ones that someone needed to turn every time it “dinged” and get rid of the really loud movie like projectors that you couldn’t hear because you were sitting right next to the projector.  Bring in an LCD projector, laptop/desktop and sit back and enjoy the unitedstreaming Video clips.

unitedstreaming has added many avenues with my 1st and 2nd grade learning support students.  Not only do they love to see “movies” on my laptop, through the LCD projector in the computer lab, but love to be listening to a video clip during guided reading time to reinforce a previous lesson taught in my room (what many people call center time in primary classrooms).

One new idea learned recently at PETE & C was the idea of digital streaming. My students are currently working on digital stories.  I have given them the option of bringing in their own characters (stuffed animals, action figures, Lego figures) and creating their own setting.  In addition, if they can find a unitedstreaming video to help enhance their story, I am helping them bring it into their Scholastic Keys MaxShow slides.

To be able to bring lessons to a new level by incorporating short, two minute clips excites students of all ages. It makes lessons come up to age with technology by simply inserting a clip into a power point presentation.  Most of my students can’t read the school’s text books that are provided and most of the stories in their anthologies can be found using unitedstreaming.  What a great way to boost the kids’ self-esteem when orally answering questions in a regular room setting.


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  1. Christy Felix said:

    I have to agree with Erik that my class is also loving to see movies on my computer and in the lab. I never thought about using it for centers while I worked with other students. Thank you for the information!

  2. Maryann Molishus said:

    Erik, using unitedstreaming at centers is something I have been building upon during this year. The children are asking for videos on particular themes (ponds, oceans, etc.) I am setting up playlists that help me quickly access appropriate videos. It is also a great motivator for some children to get assignments finished if their next choice could be “video research.”

  3. Dave Mendell said:

    I like how you’re using digital storytelling with your 1st & 2nd graders… It’s a great concept that can be very powerful for students of all learning abilities! I’ll share more in my blog later this week!

  4. wendy currey said:

    I agree that the short clips do help motivate students. I too am using them in my classroom and the students are excited to see their learning come to life!

  5. Scott Currey said:

    What a great idea! I am excited to try this in my classroom!

  6. Jenna Bollinger said:

    I am starting to use unitedstreaming with my 2nd graders. They seem to really enjoy it. I like the digital stories idea. I would also like to incorporate videos into my centers.

  7. pat tyson said:

    Love the idea! Video clips can be such powerful learning tools for students. Especially for those students that have difficulty reading.

  8. Dave Ryer said:

    Wow, what great ideas! It sure will help me with my classroom instruction. MOTIVATION is the key to learning and I bet you found the key for your students!

  9. Michelle said:

    I’m sure the students are excited to come to school with all the great things you are doing!
    Next, it would be fun to use an editable UnitedStreaming clip and remove the sound. Then the students can provide their own narration to really make sense of a topic for their friends.

  10. Elyse Wittmer said:

    I love that idea. I will definitely add it to my curriculum to teach my college students. This will DEFINITELY prepare them better for the technology demands in their own classrooms. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Natalie said:

    I have to agree. This seems to bring the curriculum alive for my students, and it keeps them happy!

  12. Alissa Simmons said:

    I love all the wonderful things you are doing with unitedstreaming. As a first year teacher I haven’t had the chance to access this great resource yet, but have only heard amazing things. I’ll be sure to keep your ideas in mind as I continue to explore the resources I have available.

  13. Katrina Small said:

    Sounds like you are using upstreaming to provide wonderful learning experiences for your students! I can’t wait for upstreaming to be available for me to use in my classroom next year!

  14. Jess said:

    Unitedstreaming and the laptops have been very successful in my 3rd grade classroom as well! Technology is such a great motivator for today’s kids!

  15. Mandy Campbell said:

    I am looking forward to using UnitedStreaming in my first grade classoon. I think it will really benefit students of all levels. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tanya Giordano said:

    Hi Erik,

    I really enjoyed reading all the responses on UnitedStreaming. To be honest, I have never heard of it before now. I am going to do some research here in Canada and see where our schools stand with this. Thanks for the letting me know that there is a new resource out there that I need to tap into.
    Good luck in your classroom.

  17. Becky Thoman said:

    From what I have seen so far on United Streaming, it looks like a great tool to brighten up teaching for the students. I am very excited to learn more about it and make teaching even more fun!

  18. Marian Kirkman said:

    This is the first time I heard of unitedstreaming. It sounds very helpful and I can definately see why your students are drawn to this technology. You’ve convinced me to check it out for my Kindergarten classroom. Thanks!

  19. Bryan Tayman said:

    I use united streaming in my 7th grade classroom as well. It is worth noting that United streaming offers much more than just digital videos, it has an extensive selection of clip art, writing prompts, articles, and lesson plans on the site as well. I use the clip art to spice up worksheets and PowerPoint presentations!

  20. Bryan Tayman said:

    Opps – I also wanted to mention that South Western teachers can look forward to a few summer sessions on United Streaming. This would be a great oppurtunity to learn about US and create some classroom materials for the upcoming school year.

  21. RJ Stangherlin said:

    I keep coming back to your blog and can identify with your voice and your opening rhetorical question. Far too often I fall into questioning how very early elementary education can integrate sophisticated technology with students that are so young. You and your fellow blogger have definitely put that question to rest.

  22. Pat Trone said:

    I am looking forward to taking a class this summer to learn more about this exciting topic.

  23. cindy christensen said:

    I am glad that South Western is offering more information on US during summer workshops. It is a great way for us to use technology in our classrooms. Thanks for getting the information out there!

  24. Erica Myers said:


    After getting introduced to United Streaming this summer I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into my classroom. Teaching learning support students I often need over the top, catchy introductions to maintain students attention throughout the lessons and discussions. I am able to use the short clips on United Streaming to do just that. My students love watching the clips and relating it to thier own lives. I can’t wait until I have more time this summer to sit down with the curriculum and create even more “Intros and Info” sessions for my students.

  25. Rebecca said:


    United Streaming is an awesome way to get kids interested in learning. I have used it to teach Science in the past. I had never thought of using it to bring the stories to life through video.

  26. Denise said:

    Wow Erik, you really know how to motivate your students! I cannot wait to learn more about unitedstreaming so I can share it with my first graders!

  27. Michele said:

    What a great way to involve your students with technology and learning!

  28. Deb Klunk said:

    Can’t wait to try it. I think 5th graders will love it.

  29. Beth Felix said:

    I agree that unitedstreaming is a great asset, especially to students with special needs.

  30. Theresa said:

    We need more teachers like you providing alternatives to traditional teaching styles. What a great motivational tool for your students.

  31. Rina Iati said:

    United Streaming is not only a great way to motivate kids, but you have found a way to use it to inspire kids to use technology creatively. We sometimes tend to lose sight of the fact that math,science, and technology are creative fields. Incorporating technology into the classroom using United Streaming will provide students with the experience they will need when they enter the highly technological workforce.

  32. deb Marines said:

    What fun ideas for your class. They are lucky to have you as a teacher.

  33. mary kay kelly said:

    I agree with all that Erik has said. United Streaming has truly enhanced instruction in many ways! I have observed in classrooms where United Streaming has been very effective for our students.

  34. Abby Giampietro said:


    Sounds like your students are doing many exciting things with unitedstreaming. I would love to observe you sometime!

  35. Pam said:

    My students use UnitedStreaming videos all the time! I especially love the videos I’ve found that are “movies” of stories we’ve read in class.

  36. Diane Hoffman said:

    How innovative. Looks like resources worth pursuing. I especially like how Erik has created activites that bolster self-esteem and how state-of-the-art this all is.

  37. Toshia Brady said:

    I agree that unitedstreaming is a VERY useful tool. Filmstrips are outdated and borning for students. United streaming brings a new dimension to the classroom. Students are more interested and it makes learning fun. Great article!

  38. Chris said:

    Eric, I agree that Unitedstreaming is one of the best things since sliced bread. The wealth of resources available is unbelievable! With Unitedstreaming there’s absolutely no excuse for boring lessons.

  39. Marie Sanders said:

    I saw first hand what Erik is accomplishing with United Streaming and it is awesome! Can’t wait to learn more.

  40. Jamie said:

    This is the first time I have heard of unitedstreaming–it sounds like it is a wonderful addition to any curriculum. I’m excited to try it out in my own classroom!

  41. Heather said:

    I love your ideas for using United Streaming. I can’t wait to have the accesibility to use it in my building next year. It sounds like your students are really motivated. I like how you’ve integrated various tecnhnology resources.

  42. David Janusz said:


    I agree with you! This is a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. I like how you use streaming to create stories and bring them to life. I can see how it helps with story comprehension. I would really like to know more about united streaming!

  43. N. Griffin said:

    It sounds like your learning support students are loving it! I will need to try this with some of my language delayed students.

  44. Lisa said:

    What great ideas! I would love to be able to see some of those digital stories that your students write! That kind of creativity ties in so well with art!

  45. Judy Feather said:

    Erik, I’m anxious to take the workshops this summer. I think this united streaming will be another shot of adrenalin to my classroom and tweak it. With days so short and curriculum so long, we teachers need to streamline and use our time most effectively. This sounds like it may help to do that. Thanks!

  46. Valerie Dixon said:

    Technology has become a necessary tool to be used in the classroom. The youth of today are quite accustomed to all facets of technology, and we will lose their attention if we are behind the times.

    Great work Erik!

  47. Donna Dennis said:

    I also have access to videostreaming and I think that it makes accessing numerous sources of information more feasible. A great new twist on using videos and video clips to enhance classroom instruction.

  48. Matthew Kolb said:

    Wow, that sounds great, Erik! What a super way of making reading and learning fun and exciting for students, incorporating all their senses into their academic work, and substituting new ways of learning instead of just using their textbooks! I’d love to see a student use that program or software and learn more about it. Thanks for keeping me up-to-date.

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