Whiteboard clips for GCSE Poetry


The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy

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How not to write a story


Sue Waters blog is a huge resource for using ICT in the classroom.

For English teachers I also like Alan Levine’s blog which has the marvellous 50 ways to tell a story

including a demonstration of how not to tell a story, that reminded me a lot of being in several BBC ‘creative’ meetings:

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.

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 bbcsbr@twoten.press.net
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

Whiteboard video clips issues


I’m making video to be used in classrooms, specifically for the whiteboard. Whiteboards aren’t the same as TV or computer screens. This has good and bad implications for making video clips. The worst factor is how drab a lot of video looks in a lot of classroom situations. This useful technology can be less than compelling in the wrong lighting conditions. What looks marvellous illuminated on a desktop in optimum lighting conditions can be washed out, indistinct or muddy on the big screen, particularly compared to the sharpness and clarity of a flash animation. Over the coming months we will try to solve this problem in shooting new videos for whiteboards. 

 Shooting factors include lighting, film effects, choice of locations, sound, and recording format. We aged old crone movie makers love our arty film lighting but that won’t wash on whiteboards. The director, design team and camera crews will be considering how we can avoid this pitfall, improve the picture quality and avoid any white- or black-outs of the type that can apear in typically artistic scenes. We’ll also see what benefits shooting on HD will bring.

 Classroom factors are outside our control. They include use of projectors, classroom blinds and other ambient light controls, speaker quality and seating arrangements for viewing. We have to assume the video will be seen under the worst classroom conditions.

This is an old problem also. In the past it was poor quality TVs with tinny speakers, 30 kids clustered round a wheel-in telly. No curtains in the classrooom. But in some ways. we’re still there with badly lit and set up whiteboards.

Whiteboard vs Television Set


On another school visit today I went to the Sheffield Springs Academy where I watched an impressive display of how integrated whiteboards can be in practice. Emmanuelle Bishton is the epitome of the 21st century classroom teacher, using her whiteboard as creative stimulus, collaborative workspace, timer, ticker-tape reminder and record keeper. She showed me the thick green folders of lesson plans that are about to be jettisoned now she’s stored her bank of lesson plan powerpoints. Each one is a slick and flexible bank of targetted resources. Some came free from the BBC and Teachers TV. Others she rated were bought in from providers such as Teachit, They can all be fine-tuned each year for different types of learners. Creating a bank of resources like this feels onerous, especially in the middle of a busy term. But it’s clear once it’s done how much time it saves year on year and how simple it is to add to.

In the lunch queue it was remarked that soon no-one would ever wheel a TV into a classroom again. I wonder how many still do?