Richard Hodgkiss recommends a DVD for digital media
Creative Digital Media DVD Available free from Becta. Product ref: 15371 www.becta.org.ukcorporatepublications
System requirements: PC: P400MHZ, Dvd-Rom, 32 Mb free RAM, Windows 98 and later Mac: G3 and up, 4xDvd-Rom, 32 Mb free RAM, OS 9.1 or later
Creative Digital Media, a slick DVD from Becta, provides an insight into how artificial limits to what can be achieved in the classroom can be removed.
The DVD works on various levels, providing practical help for primary and secondary teachers who would like to explore digital media in video, photography and music. The emphasis is on the excitement and creativity that can be generated by digital media in learners aged 5 to 18.
At the business end, the product works as a lesson planner, but is equally adept as an in-service resource and reference tool. For lesson planning, it provides ideas for a number of different projects in art and design, history, science and ICT. Each project has an introduction, preparation notes, lesson plans, links to the national curriculum, ideas for differentiation, and support files showing work produced by schools and colleges. Projects are targeted at either primary or secondary level, though many of the primary projects could easily be adapted for secondary schools.
Creative Digital Media also provides useful printable resources that can be used in in-service training to stimulate discussion about ICT in the classroom, as well as providing teachers with ideas for new projects and approaches.
Perhaps where Creative Digital Media is most useful is as an inspiration to teachers and learners as to what can be achieved with digital media at various ages. A showcase of work accompanies each of the teaching projects.
There are accompanying documentaries providing background about how the results were achieved.
The showcase comprises the work of finalists in this year's Becta Creativity in Digital Media Awards. A health and safety video produced by children from St Austin's Catholic Primary School and a clay-based animation from an A-level student at St Malachy's College are particularly charming.
The DVD has an easy-to-use interface. Just pop it in your drive and it should boot up with a funky introduction. The menus are easy to follow and everything slides along smoothly with a minimum of delay. Creative Digital Media isn't a complete solution to implementing digital media in the classroom, but it's a good start.
lThe deadline for the 2006 Becta awards is October 31. For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org