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Friday, December 05, 2008

BBC Scotland has carried on producing quality geography resources despite the dearth of BBC 'England' resources: their Rivers series springs to mind straight away (a programme which had Val Vannet and David Rayner involved as consultants)My Twitter network has just come up with the goods again, with a new BBC Scotland website called CHINA STORIES. It includes 8 short videos (about 10 minutes long), each with a different focus.
The stories include:
  • Xiao Di: the single child
  • Jiang Feng Dui: the farmer
  • Dr. Hao: the traditional doctor
  • Director Feng: the community leader
  • Liu Hong Liang: the factory worker
This would be a great resource for a range of key stages. I heard of the resource via a new TWITTER follower. The DID YOU KNOW / AKA "Shift Happens" presentation is one I hope not to have to sit through again, but makes the point about our need to connect with CHINA.

Here are all the details from Claire McCallum's LEARNING BLOG.

The China Stories website includes eight short films (about 10 minutes each in length), as well as a production diary, which describes how our production team went about making the films. Sounds simple? We hope it's accessible to as many people as possible – the programmes themselves feature strong stories; like the happy but lonely little boy who is a product of China's single-child policy and the farmer who now grows designer trees for hotel lobbies rather than food crops. They can be used across the curriculum and across a wide age-range. The choice is put in the teacher's hands, and this can only help teachers deliver exciting and creative lessons. The production diary, a new approach for us to our content, allows media studies students a unique insight into the 'real' work of a production crew, but also complements the films for other subjects by showing the crew's often very Western perspective on Chinese culture. Creative teaching could use China as a hub for all kinds of interdisciplinary work – art, drama, dance, languages, politics, cooking, design – amongst others. I think that the China Stories films provide an excellent base for all different kinds of activities – truly taking on the challenge of cross-curricular breadth of learning.

Why China? Many believe the 2008 Olympics was the reason for this flurry of interest in Chinese culture – and there's no doubt that the spectacular show the Chinese people put on for the world inspired many people. There's more to it than that, however – China is not only one of the largest countries in the world, it's fast becoming a major economic power. To function in the 21st century, our young people must engage with China.

Next week, we will launch My China, which will enable learners to build their own site about China using video content, images and text. A great way to showcase that project, which for early primary learners could be about pandas, and for secondary classes could be about media freedoms – all aspects of China can be incorporated. Look out too for 'Changing China' which will include interviews and commentary from people about what China means to them.

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