Channel vision;Cover feature

10th September 1999 at 01:00
The success of multi-channel resources like BBC's GCSE Bitesize, which combines TV and video with books, CD-Roms and a website, puts broadcasters in a good position to develop popular educational material. This autumn there is plenty on offer.

BBC Education's major project, History 2000, combines the Internet with radio and TV. The project begins in September with Century Speaks, an oral history project, on the web in text, pictures and audio. More than 6,000 interviews have been recorded, in which people talk about their lives. Children will enjoy Arthur Whitlock's account of visiting the dentist as a boy - at 107, he is the second oldest man in Britain. Interviews will be broadcast on 36 BBC radio stations. On television, 16-hour long programmes, beginning next year, will chronicle the experiences of the peoples of the British Isles since the coming of the Romans.

Channel 4 Learning has its own multi-channel offering this autumn. The Number Crew is an animated series teaching basic numeracy for ages five to seven. The series of 60 TV programmes is supported by two CD-Roms and purchasers of the CD-Rom can access more material on The Number Crew website. It also offers a music CD, videos and printed materials.

Not everything this autumn is multi-channel. From BBC Schools Online, new, free material on the web includes Revision Wise, an English, science and maths site for 11-year-olds, with similar content for 14 year olds due later this year; Dynamo Science which has interactive games covering basic science skills for seven to nine-year-olds; In the News, a site launched in conjunction with Newsround's website and Listen and Write, a poetry website that challenges you to write a rap. For GCSE students, Virtual Science Centre Genetics makes good use of simulation techniques to investigate DNA.

On its website, Channel 4 Learning has a new version of Net Notes, the service that provides back-up information for users of its TV programmes. Net Notes Plus adds curriculum resources, pupil activities and specially selected web links. From September, Net Notes Plus is available for English, geography, history and science.

For teachers who have yet to try AngliaCampus, Anglia's subscription website for schools, the site is offering two months free trial to visitors in September. New content includes interactive literacy pages with electronic illustrated flip books, Java-based numeracy material for early learners, interactive units for French and German at secondary school.

For classrooms without Internet access, there are plenty of new CD-Roms from the broadcasters. Granada Learning has published a version of its popular creative writing program, Writer's Workshop, for seven to 11, called Young Writer's Workshop. There are also maths CD-Roms for primary and early secondary years. Anglia Multimedia also has numeracy titles designed for use during the activity section of the numeracy hour at Level 1 and 3.

From Channel 4 Learning, Art Explorer is a new program for age nine upwards that explores images, shape and patterns. Nets for cubes can be designed and printed out to make 3D models and there are collage and kaleidoscope projects. For age 11+, Amazonia CD-Rom brings the rain forest to life with an interactive comic strip adventure where pupils take the manager's role, choosing options and then considering the impact. For GCSE geography students, Maps and Mapping lets you deconstruct maps and overlay outlines of the same location from different time periods.

BBC websites can be accessed from its education home page at The Number Crew CD-Roms, pound;20 Tel: 01926 436444 Channel 4 Learning's Net Notes Plus, pound;25, learning.channel4.complus Art Explorer, Amazonia and Maps and Mapping, pound;29.99. Tel: 01926 436444 learning.channel4.comschoolsshop Anglia Campus is at Anglia Multimedia CD-Roms, pound;50 for primary numeracy titles Tel: 01603 760000 Granada Learning Tel: 0161 827 2927

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