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A Word In Your ERA – The Educational Recording Agency on 2016’s Upcoming Highlights

  • A Word In Your ERA – The Educational Recording Agency on 2016’s Upcoming Highlights

Chances are, your school holds a licence from the Educational Recording Agency; here, the organisation’s chief executive explains how to make the most of it over the coming months…

We all know how valuable video and audio content can be as an educational resource. It engages students, helps bring subjects to life and can have a hugely positive effect on learning outcomes. Take the BBC’s season of programmes on race and gender , for example – last year, these were widely used to support the teaching of PSHE.

At the Educational Recording Agency (ERA), we licence schools to use broadcast content in the classroom, as well as to build libraries of these recordings – both physically on VHS or DVD, and digitally via a secure virtual learning environment or server. Given the great wealth of British television and radio content available to teachers, 2016 offers plenty of opportunities to build up a strong collection of educational resources.

Shakespeare, science and sport

With the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death just around the corner, UK broadcasters are currently lining up reams of quality content to commemorate the great playwright. The BBC’s six-month long Shakespeare Lives festival will commence in the spring and feature new TV adaptations of the plays, factual programming and even a Ben Elton-penned sitcom, Upstart Crow, featuring The Bard himself.

The BBC’s much acclaimed Hollow Crown season will continue on through The Wars of the Roses with three new productions – Henry VI, Parts 1 and 2 (pictured above) and Richard III. Any of this material, or clips from it could be a great discussion point or lesson starter. The ERA Licence means that students can be directed to watch copies of these in their own time before discussion in class.

Other significant anniversaries in the year ahead include the centenary of Einstein’s ground-breaking theory of relativity in March, as well as the passing of a hundred years since the Battle of the Somme this July. That’s not forgetting the commencement of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games on 5th August.

The ERA Learning platform

All of these occasions will prompt a wealth of programming which could provide valuable teaching resources. As part of our commitment to helping teachers curate the best content for their lessons, we have developed a new ERA Learning platform where teachers can share best practice examples and inspire others with links to clips and programmes that they have found useful. Currently being piloted with FE and HE tutors, we hope to expand its catalogue of resources and extend its availability to more teachers as the year progresses.

The platform will also be on show and available to view at this month’s Bett show – we hope that teachers will pop by the ERA stand to trial the platform and help us shape it.

In February we will be offering an open access month, so that people who wish to view the site will be able to do so without signing up to the full pilot. It is hoped that the ERA Learning platform will be launched fully launched in September this year.

For more information, you can subscribe to the ERA blog for details of upcoming broadcasts not to be missed or follow @ERAResources

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