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Following on from our earlier webinar on the power of video in learning

30 September 2020 Share

Some thoughts from Rebecca Clark, Licensing and Communications Executive on the use of TV in teaching for teachers and/or library staff.

We live in a visual world. We live in a world in which we are constantly talking about what we have seen online or on TV, whether it be a social media post, a video gone viral, or the latest programme that everyone is watching. What we see on our screens is a huge part of our lives, and it has only become more apparent over the past few months, as much of our engagement with the external world has moved onto our screens, too. Why not make the most of it and harness this screen power to enhance the way we teach and learn?

There is so much potential in the use of TV in teaching; visual media actively engage students, requiring them to view and process what is before them rather than simply listen. Active and creative engagement with visual resources can encourage knowledge retention as well as help spark students’ interest in a topic. Add to this the vast array of programmes that exist, and you’ll find that there is something out there to suit every subject and topic. The possibilities are endless!

Of course, there is perhaps such a thing as too endless. It’s true that with so much choice, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. This is where ERA steps in. We have recently launched our Video Streaming Platform, which contains over 1,000 clips from the BBC Archive, the majority of which are currently not accessible to the public. We think that these programmes should be readily available to teachers, who may often not have the time to sift through dozens of programmes just to find that five minute clip to use in class. The search function also allows you to refine your search by subject, key stage/study level, and exam board, making the process infinitely easier. 

Our Educational Resources page is also there to support teachers. It’s packed full of recommended programmes tailored specifically to subjects across all key stages, worksheets to help students keep track of what they have learned from the programmes, articles to help spark the imagination, and PowerPoints made specifically with PSHE in mind. 

We have also been lucky enough to have spoken with a number of teachers over the years who have provided us with the tips and tricks that they use to incorporate TV and radio into their lessons. It never fails to amaze

Such an example is Brentwood School’s design technology teacher Thomas Welland, who uses Robot Wars to encourage his students to take more of an interest in STEM subjects. He explains that watching real people building and fighting with robots actually helps to show just how much work goes into these projects. When they then put it into practice in class, they can use what they have learned to develop a wide range of skills, including strategic, analytical, and diagnostic planning, negotiation, communication and problem-solving, as well as implement subjects such as maths, computer science, and physics. That’s quite a lot to be learned from one programme!

When applied across the board, we believe that the student experience can be greatly enhanced by the use of TV and radio programmes in the classroom. Why not open up your teaching to an unconventional approach in these unconventional times? It might just be the key to reigniting pupils’ love for learning.


Rebecca Clark, Licensing and Communications Executive.