PSP in the classroom


Paid a visit to Mount St Mary’s to see the whiteboard in action. Mr Flaherty uses ICT seamlessly and innovatively. He’d created tailor made ‘Millionaire’ style quizzes to recap on earlier poems and get the class warmed up.

He introduced Dulce et Decorum Est using a youtube video

The video represented the poem inaccurately in one or two places but those inaccuracies became part of the lesson as he unpicked them with the class
He then used 15 PSPs with the camera attachment, dividing the class into pairs setting them the task of interviewing each other as though they’d witnessed the events of the poem. The PSPs were simple to use so nothing got in the way of the learning.
It was an impressive and engaging session.

Video on whiteboards vs computers


A colleague working on video clips for whiteboards was auditioning young actors last night and asked them about their experience of whiteboards. They’d experienced the problems of washed out video clips and said it was largely down not being able to close curtains or blinds, or control the classroom lights on.
One student had an interesting new suggestion. Their teacher, she said, often previews or watches the video on a high quality laptop screen, while the class watches it on the big projected whiteboard. So it’s possible the teacher already has good knowledge of the video which they unconsciously carry over to the more wishy washy projected image. They may not recognise their pupils are seeing an inferior reproduction which can affect their engagement with the material

Compare two video clips on the whiteboard


This is a simple but beautiful idea from Becta, taking advantage of the whiteboard’s ability to play two videos for comparison.
It could also be used to compare two versions of a play or a poem,

DVDs of schools video clips for whiteboards


Most schools TV is now in clip form. If you miss a schools TV broadcast on BBC2’s Learning Zone, it’s still possible to get it on DVD to play on your whiteboard.

1.Your school can buy DVDs of many key programmes. The service is cheap, at about £10. for a DVD wth two hours of high quality Schools TV on it. (I made a chunk of it so I would say that)
Tel 08701 272 272 or email
This is what’s called the BBC’s Cost Recovery service or Overnight Broadcast Service. It’s poorly advertised but an excellent source of missed video material for your whiteboards.
The DVDs can only be sold to educational establishments. It’s useful to the teachers who forget to hit record or who end up with the last five minutes of their recording missing.
iPlayer and other online delivery streams remove this issue for the general viewer but teachers need longer than 7 days, or even 30 days, to integrate a new video into their lessons. It’s often a ‘holiday’ time activity and can take a year or more to get round to.
The Overnight service can’t be anything other than just the basic video material of the programme. No video that hasn’t been transmitted can be added to the DVD, No notes or other support material can be offered with it, so teachers have to come up with ways of integratng it into their lesson from scratch.
This cost recovery Overnight Broadcast Service is sometimes confused with the commercial DVD service offered by other providers such as:

2. BBC Worldwide/Pearson DVD service.
Commercial DVDs are not tied to broadcasts and often offer extras. They aren’t restricted to providing just the video but can produce well-researched supporting materials, extra video clips not transmitted, extra audio, e-books and all of the other stuff that can make a stimulating whiteboard experience that teachers don’t have time to build from scratch.
What used to be BBC Worldwide Children’s Learning is now part-owned by Pearson and called BBC Active
There is a more specific primary schools site for primary whiteboards also. This is where you can get the wraparound of notes, clips from various sources and teachers’ and pupils’ books, posters and ebooks.

3. Channel 4 also has specific schools resources for sale at the 4Learning shop.

4. Teacher’s TV has shedloads of great resources permanently available on their website. All can be streamed and many are available for download.

5. The BBC also puts clips which can be streamed from the Class Clips section of the learning zone website

Ross, Brand and Editorial Guidelines in Broadcasting


After all the BBC’s efforts , the On Air Talent still sometimes fails to understand that all broadcasters have to comply with Editorial Standards. The bridge from creative to offensive can be quite small, because sticking to the rules is what creative people don’t do. That’s why they have layers of staff – editors, producers, series producers and executive producers –  to make sure their creativity doesn’t get the broadcaster slapped by the regulator. And in the last few years, the requirement to fill in in an online compliance form as dictated by Ofcom. So there wasn’t much excuse for this. Except that clearly someone, somewhere in that chain, didn’t realise they were there not just to foster creativity, but also to keep the talent out of trouble. 

After Queengate, new EdPol training was forced on all BBC staff and all independent production companies working for the BBC. 

Almost all production staff go into the job to be creative.  A few of them don’t quite see the importance of EdPol. It’s not what you go into the business to do. But as this week’s row and sad result shows, it’s vital to regard it as a key part of your role if you have any editorial function at all.