Good morning all,
I first blogged about BBC Bitesize way back in May of 2009. Since then, BBC Learning‘s commitment to education as only increased, and it is evident by the substantial growth and development of this site.
As I mention in my blog post above, if you are outside the UK, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Key Stage terminology, the system used by the UK’s state educational administration to classify students (like K-12 here in the USA).
Since my last visit, this site has added significant depth and breadth, while maintaining the quality of its graphics and the simplicity of its interface. I like to profile resources that are good enough to be used by students alone if need be, or with some guidance (for the youngest learners). BBC Bitesize fits the bill nicely. Here’s the main menu for the KS1 section:
Simple, intuitive, clean, no ads – what more could you ask for? Let’s drill further down into the Maths area:
Remember, this is the Key Stage 1 (KS1) section, for learners aged 5 to 7. Animal Island Data looked interesting to me (it’s not shown above, it’s further down the list), so I checked it out:
I like the that the selectable levels of difficulty start with “Medium”. No one should ever choose “Easy!” Here’s a full-screen image of the game in play:
Granted, this is a simple point and click affair, but at the “Really hard” level, things get a little more interesting:
While there are some UK-specific terms thrown in here and there, a simple preview of the activity yourself will determine if it’s significant enough to be a concern. (I’m willing to bet it won’t be.)
I can see these activities used in a whole-class setting for formative assessment, to introduce topics or reinforce skills, especially where Interactive White Boards (IWBs) are available. Bring students up to the board and let them explain how they are solving the problem! The site could also be used effectively in centers, especially given the ease of navigation. Finally, since each activity has its own unique URL, it’s easy to add Favorites or Bookmarks to local browsers, making immediate access a snap.
I really, really like what BBC Bitesize has put together here. It’s got great content (depth and breadth), is easy to navigate, loads quickly and has no advertising. Again, what more could you ask for (ok, other than a unique system of personal student accounts, organized by the teacher, to track & report progress)?
Hope this helps,