Schoolzone blog: A new take on classroom video

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4 Nov 2014

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Here's the neatest thing we've seen at schoolzone lately...

If you're like most teachers, when you use video in class, you'll have some activities to go along with each video. How do you use these? Do you hand out printouts? Have questions on the screen - stored on a VLE or local computer?

How do your children know what part of the video the activities relate to? And what if you want to focus on one particular skill - which bit of the video is the best part for which activity?

The problem with most video use in class is that it's quite a lot more complicated than it ought to be, because no two teachers use video the same way - and everyone seems to have a range of answers to the questions above.

So, that's what we like about Storyteller Interactive - it's a great way of solving all those problems at once. See the purple and blue boxes in this screen grab of the storyteller in action? Each represents a different resource - the colours tell you what skill is being covered: purple = spelling in this example. Here we've turned on spelling and reading (there are six others to choose from too), so we get purple and blue boxes. We can see when during the video to use them because they're positioned on the play bar, working its way along the bottom as in most video. Great for front of class and for children working on computers.

We're not commenting on the content of the video here - though the use of professional storyteller is quite compelling - just on the clever, but simple and really useful technology. For many years, schoolzone was the DfE's main service for the evaluation of digital resources, so we've seen a lot over the years and this one stands out because it helps primary teachers do what they already do - but better.

You can either use the resources just as they come or via the planning area, which helps you to create your own customised lessons. You get content for each lesson, including short professional development videos; printables and links to a helpful glossary of grammar terms from the new curriculum - as well as the necessary curriculum links. We've not tried this, but if you have, please feel free to tell us about it in the comment box below.

We found this idea on Education Umbrella, which if you haven't tried it yet, is a sort of Amazon for schools (though neither site may like us calling it that!) - selling nearly a quarter of a million education resources, sometimes cheaper than you could get them directly from the original supplier - eg they have 25% off all Oxford Reading Tree until the 16 November 2014.

Try Storyteller Interactive for yourself and tell us what you think.

 

 

 

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