The BBC launched at the end of last week their contribution to 21st century learning, BBC Jam. Last March I was very happy to have helped fix up and advised on some of the resources in Geography and French. BBC Scotland approached me looking for a quick link to be made with a Polish school so that they could film kids from a new European Union member state about their feelings of European-ness. It was great fun flying out to Zabrze, via Krakow, to take a trip down a coal mine and work with some brilliant kids. The way they were normally taught was very different to the way that BBC Producers and I worked, but the results were full of life and enthusiasm. When it's online it'll make for some great geography lessons. We even made the first European schools podcast (with RSS and enclosures and everything!) while we were over and ran the six-week geoBlogs project, which led to some valuable experiences in classrooms both sides of the Channel about what it meant to be European and living in a world where the concept of borders was changing on a daily basis.
Being welcomed by some of the Polish pupils in the as yet unpublished Human Geography side of BBC Jam.
Down the mines with the crew.
After that the French crew got in touch to see if they could user-test some of the French material with some kids. We did this in May and then I got filmed with a great class from Musselburgh last September for the promo video of BBC Jam. I've still not seen it, although most of my colleagues in East Lothian seem to have had a peek already.
The resources are hugely interactive with great structure in each 'lesson'. Kids didn't have the slightest impression they were actually learning anything - just having great fun. The results were, in fact, really impressive in a very short period of time. So I might be biased, but the materials are top dollar.
Cartoon-making is part of a French learning package that includes film sequences, sentence builders, writing frames in a 3D world...