Dickens replaces DVDs in the classroom

Gone are the days when teachers would book out a double lesson each term to show students the movie of the book. A new English e-Library developed by Cambridge University Press for AQA brings literary authors and non-fiction texts to life in the classroom through audio clips, video and interactive annotation, inspiring and guiding students as they get to grips with the new English GCSEs and A-levels.

Helen Cunningham, Publishing Director, UK Education at Cambridge University Press, explains, “We know that teaching and learning are changing, which is why we’ve created this flexible, rich and easy-to-use resource. Seeing or hearing clips written about content can help students’ understanding and recall, as well as provide them with multiple ways to access and engage with what they’re studying, regardless of their learning style. Which is why we’ve developed this tool to provide a wealth of ways to access the texts, whatever the learning preference of the student.

“All our digital content is being created from scratch, with the commitment to inspire learning at its heart and we’ve worked closely with students and teachers to identify which new technologies most appeal to them and work best in their classroom.”

image001Gary Pollard, Head of English at AQA, adds, “We want teachers to have the time and energy to deliver quality learning in every lesson, every day – to be the inspiring teacher they’ve always wanted to be. There really is something in the resource for every planning, provision and teaching need, so by providing them with this bank of resources, tools and support, we believe we’re helping to free them up to be creative when they most need it.

“In a world where virtual learning environments (VLEs) have become a key part of the classroom, how teachers can use set texts has been an obvious area needing to catch up with how teachers teach today. Teachers involved in the testing have reported that they can spend more time focussing on creating and steering student discussions because they have immediate access to all the resources they need for each chapter of a text.”

The AQA English e-Library can be accessed via tablets and PCs through a classroom-based and downloadable app. With the built in message service, teachers can set, discuss and feedback on tasks with students, and group students according to ability, where they are in the content, or for specific group tasks. It will be available free of charge from summer 2015, exclusively to those who are teaching AQA’s specifications.

Cunningham adds, “We want all students to be inspired and achieve their best, and for each student to connect with English in a way that will resonate with them for a lifetime. Like AQA, we are passionate about English and really believe that this resource will help bring texts to life like never before.”

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