Multimedia helps lay skills foundation

19th May 2000 at 01:00
JOHN BOOTH thinks he has the key to getting teenagers interested in construction.

Mr Booth runs the Construction Curriculum Centre at Newcastle College. When faced with a general national vocational qualification foundation group of 14 to 16-year-olds, likely to get a mental block at the sight of a sheet of paper, he took them to a local museum to research and make a multimedia presentation on its use and protection of land.

He says: "Multimedia can release understanding of difficult concepts and get away from chalk and talk." His current group has produced a CD-Rom on careers in construction with support from the Construction Industry Training Board, which helped expand his computer suite from four to 15 machines.

He saw that he could improve the public's understanding of construction by taking this software into Newcastle's schools.

The next step was to run a schools competition to create

multimedia packages on construction issues, supported by the local authority, the local training and enterprise council, Bue Circle Cement, software firm MatchWare, and computer-maker Viglen, which supplied computers as prizes.

Mr Booth was particularly impressed by a group of 10 and 11-year-old pupils from Chevyside middle school, who studied the Centre for Life, a millennium project in the city centre that houses exhibitions on genetics.

Doing their own interviewing and research, they worked to a strict deadline on sound and video editing leading to a CD-Rom on the project. They went on to win the 'best application of IT' award at Tyneside TEC's Science and Technology Fair. Now they are helping to teach other children at their school multi-media skills.

Mr Booth will be running the competition again this year for Newcastle schools, though he would like to see it go nationwide.

He backs the movement on Tyneside for co-operation between schools and colleges, saying they should be complementing each other, not competing. He says: "I'm 53 and should be thinking about retiring, but this is the most exciting part of my career."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now