The free availability of Teachers TV programmes is proving a huge hit with teachers in schools across the UK. The digital TV channel for teaching professionals which joined the CALG in July, reports that teaching professionals are not only watching and downloading programmes but also busy adapting content to suit their own needs.
Martin Trickey, Head of Interactive, Teachers TV says “The response to our programmes being available online has been tremendous. Before we launched we weren’t sure how much the download service would be used but the response has been overwhelming. We are pleased that thousands of programmes are landing on our audience’s desktops but also that people are using them in innovative ways. People are watching them on laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, white boards, and projected onto staffroom walls.
Martin reports that teachers are editing the clips they find most useful and creating their own versions of programmes. “It’s fantastic that the creative process of making a programme doesn’t finish when it leaves the edit suite.
Teacher of Science/ BTEC Course Leader teacher, Stephen McEvoy, from Brookfield High School in Kirkby, is one such early ‘adapter’. Inspired by Teachers TV’ programming on classroom management, he has built a digital resource bank for classroom use. "I collect, catalogue and edit clips and now have extracts for most topics" he says, "I am buying a dedicated server to host these on the school intranet to be viewed on demand for staff and training. Programmes transferred via my hard drive/DVD combo set top box to WMV are better quality and I’ve found it easy to edit these and add intros. But downloaded from the website, the programmes work okay even displayed on interactive whiteboard-size screens."
At Hodge Hill School in Birmingham, School Business Manager, Matthew Wheeler, has been saving the clips to memory cards (eg. SD cards, memory sticks etc) since the channel’s launch earlier this year so staff can view them on their PDAs on playground duty or even in the bath.
"The joy of digitally stored content is that it is so versatile!? Matt says. “Using my own PDA, candidates for clerical and administrative positions waiting for their formal interview can watch and see what school life is really like. We’re also looking at creating a training package targeted at these members of staff. We are encouraging our support team to access the programmes and to use them as the basis for making ideas and suggestions as to how we can improve our school. We’re convinced that downloading footage and accessing it on demand is definitely the way forward for dissemination of information to schools today. The continuing professional development opportunities it offers are second to none.