Television

Digital Curriculum puts BBC at heart of online learning

MUMBAI: The BBC's Digital Curriculum, a new public service, will provide interactive learning materials via the internet to support the school curriculum.

The BBC will now play a significant role, as part of a public/private partnership, in the development and introduction of the world's first comprehensive 'Curriculum Online' service launched by the British Department for Education and Skills in 2002.

The new BBC service will use the power of interactivity to provide a range of compelling multi-media content. Students will be offered a mix of digital learning resources including video, flash animations, interactive games, printable worksheets, text pages and illustrations providing a variety of ways to learn.

These will be offered within a 'Virtual Learning Environment' which will provide the space online where students can interact with the resources, giving them flexibility to navigate through the service in the way best suited to their style of learning.

It will also allow teachers to personalise and manage the service. The ?150 million service will be built up over a five-year period and will cover subjects from across the curriculum at all levels, including minority subjects and materials for those with special educational needs.

The BBC's service will be available via the internet at school, at home or in the community (for example at community centres, libraries or internet cafes), or for whole class teaching using an interactive whiteboard. Users with a simple narrowband connection will be able to access around 70 per cent of the materials and to download the more sophisticated elements for storage and use offline, while users with broadband links will be able to use the entire service in real time online.

The conditions set by Britain's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell while approving BBC Digital Curriculum included requirements to:

- Innovate and promote educational and technological experimentation- the service must innovate continually, and exploit the extensive archives of the BBC and its media rich resources, and promote technological and educational experimentation.

· Work closely with the DfES Curriculum Online Content Advisory Board. The BBC must follow the Board’s recommendations, where possible. Curriculum Online is a DfES initiative providing access to high quality digital content to all teachers.

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