In this 3-part series Dr. Alisha Ferguson and her student Emma, lead us through the different ways technology can be of great benefit to us, especially given the current circumstances. You can access the first post in this series that discusses how to Zoom with friends, family, and co-workers here. You can access the second post in this series that discusses the ins and outs of buying food online, Let Your Fingers Do the Shopping, here.

Streaming TV and Movies

Title Slide for Digital TV and Movies OLLI Presentation

In the third and final part of this 3-part series Dr. Ferguson and her student Emma discuss streaming services and devices that provide entertainment at our finger tips. In this course they discuss the basics of several of the most popular streaming services and devices and how best to choose the one for you.

The first step in picking out a streaming service, is knowing what is out there. The following list was laid out by Emma, detailing what each service offers:

  • Netflix: Has good options and an assortment of TV shows and Movies; Not Live

Netflix logo, red letters and black background with descriptions of this service

  • Hulu: This service is updated more frequently with newer titles, it has more TV show selections
    • Hulu also offers additional packages that include live TV


  • Prime Video: This service offers a range of TV shows and Movies, they have newer and more frequently updated titles, however the most hidden costs of all the streaming services.


  • Disney+: This service has all of the movies and shows owned by Disney all the way up to the most recent movies and shows. This service is ad free and family friendly.


  • Vudu: This service is like a digital Blockbuster or Redbox. This service allows you to rent the newest movies and shows out now, and for a generally better price than Amazon prime.


  • Movies Anywhere: This service allows you to condense all of the movies, shows and music you have purchased on other services in one place so they are easier to find.


  • Masterpiece Theater: Available online through PBS. PBS membership required and donation based.


  • Kanopy: This is streaming service through the UofA or participating public libraries.


  • Hoopla: This is offered by the Fayetteville and Springdale public library and can be accessed by your library card information.

The next things to consider in picking a service would include some of the following:

  • Cost – how much are you spending now, how much are you willing/able to spend?
  • Capabilities – What do you want/need the service to do for you?
  • What are you watching? Do you want more movie selection or TV selection, do want newer titles? Live TV?
  • Take advantage of free items from the library and masterpiece theater.

Streaming Device

A streaming device is a device that connects your TV to the internet to allow you to stream music and video from online services, like the services listed above. Like streaming services there are many options available for streaming devices. They come at different price points and offer different capabilities. Listed below are things to consider in order to purchase the right one for you, as well as examples of some of the most popular streaming device options.

  • Consider:
    • Cost
    • Space and Needs
    • Ease of Use
    • Features
    • Security
  • Amazon Fire stick
    • $40
    • Uses Alexa
  • Apple TV
    • $179
    • IOs integration
    • Allows communication between other apple devices
  • Chromecast
    • $25.99
    • Casting your device onto TV
  • Roku Streaming Stick
    • $59.98
    • customizable interface

In Summary

Dr. Ferguson and her student Emma do a wonderful job filling us in on what is available and how to make the right decision for ourselves. You can take the first steps in figuring out which streaming service and device will best suit your needs.

In Conclusion

Through this Technology for Good series, Dr. Ferguson and her student Emma provided us with ways that technology can be of great use to us, especially today.

They walked us through the basics of Zoom and video chatting. Showing us how Zoom can help us stay in contact with our friends, family and co-workers during this time.

Graphic with a wifi symbol that states, Technology for Good

Dr. Ferguson and Emma demonstrated how to grocery shop online and even order ready-made meals from restaurants in the area. Breaking down a potentially overwhelming process into easy step by step directions, making online grocery and food shopping convenient.

Finally showing us the basics of streaming services and devices. What is out there and available, then how to evaluate our choices and what makes the most sense for ourselves.

Thanks to Dr. Alisha Ferguson and her student Emma, we will certainly be using our Technology for Good!