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Do you use documentaries in lessons?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by SarahMosses, Jan 28, 2011.


  1. Hi there,
    I work for the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, which
    aims to increase the use of documentary films in both the social justice
    sector and use in education. (www.britdoc.org)
    We would like to
    launch a new online platform called the 'School of Doc', whereby
    teachers have access to a selection of award winning documentaries to
    use within the classroom. These would be accompanied by lesson plans
    tied in with the curriculum. The main aim here is for feature
    documentaries to be used across a number of subject areas, as opposed to
    specially made 'news' items that might feature in current planning.
    We
    are working with an educational consultant on the development of the
    site and plan to launch in time for use in September 2011. I am
    currently trying to gage feedback from a selection of teachers outside
    London (our current focus group) as to whether you would want / use such
    a platform and which subject areas to focus on during the pilot phase.
    If
    you would be willing to spare 5 mins to discuss this, we would be
    grateful to hear your thoughts. Please get in touch and I can send you
    some further information,

    Sarah Mosses
    sarahm@britdoc.org
     

  2. Hi there,
    I work for the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, which
    aims to increase the use of documentary films in both the social justice
    sector and use in education. (www.britdoc.org)
    We would like to
    launch a new online platform called the 'School of Doc', whereby
    teachers have access to a selection of award winning documentaries to
    use within the classroom. These would be accompanied by lesson plans
    tied in with the curriculum. The main aim here is for feature
    documentaries to be used across a number of subject areas, as opposed to
    specially made 'news' items that might feature in current planning.
    We
    are working with an educational consultant on the development of the
    site and plan to launch in time for use in September 2011. I am
    currently trying to gage feedback from a selection of teachers outside
    London (our current focus group) as to whether you would want / use such
    a platform and which subject areas to focus on during the pilot phase.
    If
    you would be willing to spare 5 mins to discuss this, we would be
    grateful to hear your thoughts. Please get in touch and I can send you
    some further information,

    Sarah Mosses
    sarahm@britdoc.org
     
  3. Hi Sarah,
    I would love to show documentaries in school but the internet connection is to slow!
    If I did I would like to show some of the science programs produced by the BBC and Channel 4. One that always springs to mind is Animal Farm. A documentary on Genetic Modification which had good explanations, graphics and the of course the best bit film footage of animals and plants that have been modified.
    So for me it would have to be the showing of science documentaries with the amazing images and detailed graphics that we can only describe to students using a white board and a board pen.
    Science all the way for me!
     
  4. absolutely - documentaries are really useful - funnily enough it's the science ones for me too. Animal farm, David attenborough programs such as the tree of life are so useful!
     
  5. ott

    ott

    Hi Sarah, as an RE teacher I use documentaries and must be honest and say I tend to keep using old ones that I have taped so I would be very interested in religious and moral issues. You might like to consider posting on the subject forums to reach a wider audience. as I think some people tend to stick to their own subject forums!
     
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I would love access through some sort of iplayer to all those wonderful channel 4 and BBC science progs. We have them all on video unfortunatly we can no longer play them on our equipment or the quality has deteriorated over the years to make them not worth copying onto a new format.
     
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Lead commenter

    The documentary has to be short enough to allow the other 4 parts of the lesson, as well as the embedded SEAL.
    P (not entirely frivolously)
     
  8. I don't use documentaries for a variety of reasons. 1) I don't feel that students would be able to access documentaries about my subject, maths. For example, some of the radio programmes are great and short enough to fit into a lesson, but wouldn't hold the attention of my students. 2) TV programmes about maths are too long, with lots of time wasted on whizzy graphics - there's no way I could fit them in to an hours lesson. 3) The ICT in school isn't powerful enough to support video streaming. Furthermore 4oD, iPlayer and YouTube are all blocked. 4) The topics shown on TV don't match up with the curriculum tightly enough to contribute to learning.
     
  9. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I'm much more likely to use an extract from a documentary rather than the whole thing. That's partly because most documentaries are aimed a generalist audience and so cover lots of points very quickly. For example, a 45-minute documentary on the Battle of Hastings covers events that would take me a good few lessons to teach.
    I also don't need the lesson plans, thanks - that's what I'm trained and qualified to do.
     
  10. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    No

    I teach MFL and documentaries are of little use o me
     
  11. If you can make documentaries that are applicable for Maths then yes please!!!

    I use maths4real a lot with classes which are short 15min videos on topics, but would love a greater range/more options!
     
  12. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Given that we have to do the environmental aspects of science to death some good short vids (15 mins max) on things like the economics of the oil industry, Climate change, the Iron and steel industry, metals and their uses would be really helpful.
     
  13. Hi Sarah,

    I teach Media and English and would find short documentaries tackle that topics covered by the exam board useful. I agree with other posts here, that the documentaries must be short and engaging enough for the pupils to buy into but I would welcome any lesson plans you came up with and put online. While lesson plans are part of the job which I am aware that another post mentions and said they would prefer not to have them, I am always open to seeing if anyone else has any new ideas or creative suggestions that I can adapt and use. I think the key thing to do when you put the documentaries online, is make sure that you can put a marker section in of some form so that extracts which some people find particularly useful can be easily found or if you could make it so that you can download a selected chunk that would be great.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. I would definately use a service like this - as a biology teacher I already use clips from many of the documentaries available on 4OD such as Extinct, the Bill Bailey conservation series, Animal Farm and even Supersize vs Superskinny. I always end up watching programs on TV and thinking 'if only I had recorded this to show to the kids'. iPlayer is less useful mainly due to the restricted time that programmes are available online. There are some gems scattered through all sorts of programs, like the recent fish fights, and Jimmy's Food Factory on the BBC, but using the online services is often unreliable and we have to wait for it to load and have experienced lots of crashes. I go to youtube for a lot of clips but am less impressed by the ads and inappropriate suggested videos that pop up.
    If a service could provide both clips and full length documentaries (with bookmarks for relevent sections) that could be downloaded or reliably streamed then I would anticipate using it in a lot of lessons. I have looked at the channel 4 clipbank, which looks fab but has a very high price tag for me as a lowly subject teacher to even suggest that our school buys into. It seems logical that since the material already exists, and is on the whole a suitable level and standard for teaching from KS3-5 then it would only require a bit extra to format it into a useful educational resource.
    Would this venture be provided to schools for free? Or would it be a similar subscription service? We already subscribe to a service that gives the whole school a library of videos to access directly from the intranet covering pretty much all subjects, and we can add our own videos to the library. A free service that offered a similar resource would be very useful but it would have to be reliable enough to actually use in lessons, without having to plan an alternative in case the school internet connection has problems.
    I am interested in further information so will email the OP.
     

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