Digital resources: Find out what teachers think of the latest educational products to reach the classroom

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BBFC Behind the Scenes

British Board of Film Classification

Media Studies

Key Stage 4 – A-level

If you've ever wondered how films or games get particular classifications, this is a great way to find out – and to engage students with the process. This resource provides examples in the form of clips from relevant films and television programmes, plus tasks relating to the clips and a documentary on the work of the BBFC.

An interactive DVD-rom provides information and engaging and relevant tasks relating to the history, processes and issues surrounding the regulation of films, DVDs and video games in the UK.

Tasks are designed to stimulate questions as well as answers, and to draw upon existing student presumptions surrounding the role of the BBFC and the regulatory decisions it makes. They also draw upon student experiences as consumers of film and the processes involved in between the distribution and exhibition of the product.

BBFC – Behind the Scenes is rich with examples that are up to date, appropriate and attractive: it would be difficult to find content that is so easy to use in any other resource.

Edexcel Biology for AS Dynamic Learning Network Edition CD-ROM

Hodder Education

Biology

AS-level

This CD-rom is relatively easy for tutors to teach in class or for students to study on their own, and the assessment features provide useful support. The analytical activities offer detailed practice in investigating biological problems and address the investigative skills assessments, as well as "How Science Works". The CD-rom provides students with a detailed interactive version of the printed book, with a number of skills tutorials and worked examples to guide students through the various selected problems. A "personal tutor" facility is included to assist the student.

The lesson-building technology in the Dynamic Learning Network Edition allows the teacher to personalise learning and build lessons by dragging and dropping resources into a lesson group that can be launched from a single screen. This means the students "see" a personalised collection of lessons that have been grouped by the teacher depending on ability, interest or topic.

KS2 Success Revision and Test Practice Whiteboard

Letts and Lonsdale

Biology, chemistry and physics

Key Stage 2

The Key Stage 2 Revision and Test Practice Whiteboard Science (also available for English and maths) is designed to support teaching and learning in science, particularly for pupils in the lead up to SATs, although it's flexible enough to be used with all topics and years in Key Stage 2. This software provides teachers and pupils with access to a range of questions at levels three to five. Pupils can test their knowledge and skills, while teachers can use the software to assess pupil understanding, either in the context of whole-class teaching using the whiteboard or with pupils working individually on the questions accessed through the school network.

Real Life, Your Life by NHS careers

NHS Employers

PSHE/Citizenship/English

Key Stage 4

This resource is essentially a careers portal to explore the types of jobs on offer in the NHS. The product is aimed at students, teachers and other adults. Users can explore the associated website by career or by the type of user they are. This means the user experience can be very targeted. The materials deliver exactly what they outline, which is a comprehensive review of NHS careers. Because the lesson plans are available over the web, they can be accessed directly by any computer with an internet connection. There are no special requirements as the lesson plans are in PDF format. The resource is suitable for Key Stages 3-5 and as a targeted resource. Within the 14-19 section of the site, the resources are excellent, with video clips, quizzes and a wide range of more interactives. The diary-room materials provide a real insight into what it is like working in the NHS. The case study material is also very useful. This resource is an invaluable tool for any student who wants to explore working in the NHS. It is also useful for teachers to explore the social and moral reasons why people choose a career in the health service.

Honeycomb

Lightbox Education

Cross curricular

Key Stages 1-5

Honeycomb is an integrated set of online creativity and collaboration tools. It incorporates Web 2.0 functionality such as blogs and wikis, as well as a simple drag and drop webpage creation tool. Pupils' work can be shared online with a closed group, who can comment on the published work, leave virtual stickers and collaborate with the creator. The product uses similar principles to social network technologies, but the administrator can limit shared access to specific groups of pupils within the same school who must be logged in to view and collaborate, so only those allocated a login by the administrator can view pages. Honeycomb features three main tools that can be used to create a personal web page, a blog and a wiki – all of which can incorporate digital images, sound and video, as well as text and hyperlinks.

Interactive simulations for science, teaching biology, chemistry and physics

EduMedia

Key Stages 3, 4 and 5

These interactive simulations cover a huge range of science, maths and technology concepts. Each comes with a guide for the targeted age group, a brief summary of the learning objective it addresses and, for students, a more detailed explanation of the scientific ideas covered. Most simulations are aimed at the 16-19 age groups and the majority cover biology and physics concepts. The nice thing about them is their versatility. They are interactive, and there is no sound, so they make adaptable teaching tools. A school licence allows them to be shown full-screen from the website or downloaded. Once downloaded, the animations can be shown in a web browser, embedded in a PowerPoint presentation or on a web page.

Camtasia Studio 6

TechSmith

ICT

Key Stages 3 and 4, Post-16

Camtasia Studio 6 is a suite of applications for recording, editing and sharing videos. It lets the user record what's happening on their computer screen, whether that is cursor movements, typing or any other action. It also facilitates drawing and annotating on the screen, and adding effects to the recording. And, since it can also record PowerPoint presentations, all of the above can be applied to these, too. Camtasia videos can be uploaded, managed, and shared in high-quality definition on the Screencast.com website, where users can control the rights to their products, access viewing statistics, allow their viewers to add comments, and share their work by providing viewers with a link to it – emailed or via a blog or other website. A MediaRoll widget is available for adding videos to blogs and RSS feeds. This is an amazingly powerful, yet simple to use product that will find a place in schools in a wide range of subjects. The more it is used, the more applications will be found – so it can become an essential tool in schools. Use it instead of MS Movie Maker and Apple iMovie, too.

AS Chemistry LabSkills

Learning Science Ltd

Chemistry

Post-16

AS Chemistry LabSkills arrives as a single CD. It has simple, clear installation instructions and can be either installed as a web-delivered package (as long as it is run from a true webserver and not just a shared folder), over the internet or intranet or installed into a school's virtual learning environment (VLE), where it can take advantage of tools such as assignment, assessment and tracking. The package does what it says on the cover and delivers, through a simple clear interface, examples and techniques for use within the AS-level chemistry lab. Each element of the techniques section has textual detail, often with interaction, short videos demonstrating the technique, a section on safety with respect to that technique, several simulations and an assessment or testing element. In addition, the main window has four drop-down menus that are the periodic table, reagent glossary, equipment glossary and health and safety. Unlike many pieces of software, this one isn't just a textbook turned into a digital resource, it is much more interesting and engaging.

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