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Stream films with one service, assign via LMS; benefits may not outweigh cost

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Topics

English Language Arts, Social Studies

Price: Paid
Platforms: Web

Pros: Swank has a vast library of copyright-friendly, on-demand movie titles, and teachers can assign films via LMS.

Cons: It's a resource for all grades, but movies seem more geared toward middle and high school; pricing is opaque.

Bottom Line: Cloud-based library of movies eliminates the need for educators to subscribe to numerous streaming services.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

Swank is a cloud-based library of streaming movies. The benefit of using a service like Swank is that it has licensing agreements with several film studios. This eliminates the need for teachers to personally subscribe to many streaming services. Many of the streaming services have short-term licensing agreements, so a movie that a teacher is planning to use could be taken away at any time. In addition, there isn't an easy way for students to watch from home. Also, streaming services have created barriers to make it difficult for teachers to project films on a big screen. And if a school wants to screen a film for the whole student body, it can be a copyright issue.

Swank's library is organized and curated in categories: Elementary Collection, Middle School Collection, High School Collection, District Collection, K-12 School Collection. Teachers can also make custom title requests. The pricing structure is customized; the website indicates that teachers should contact Swank to find out more. In terms of how to use it, most teachers are already familiar: Movies have long been used as an instructional tool. In addition to documentaries, films can be used to deepen understanding of historical events, to practice hearing a language students are learning, and to compare novels to their respective film adaptations. Since the onset of remote learning, film has had an increased role as a learning resource. Teachers can also assign movies using a flipped classroom approach, and then discuss in class.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Using movies can make instruction more engaging in a variety of subjects, and the site's grade-based collections help target films to the right levels.


In general, films can offer rich learning experiences, but being able to assign films via LMS offers some versatility. There are also some limited resources for teachers around using films in class.


Swank has support via a Contact Us form. It's unclear what other supports exist or what accessibility options are included.

Common Sense reviewer
Elvina Tong
Elvina Tong Computer Science and Innovation Teacher

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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