March 18th, 2007
BBC Jam is a free online interactive learning service that was launched in January 2006 and has since become highly successful in homes and classrooms across the UK. Unfortunately it has been deemed too sucessful and will be wholly withdrawn for fear of upsetting commerical companies in the same sector.
BBC Jam is particularly accessible for students with special educational needs. These needs are currently mostly ignored by most other similar products that are commerically available.
The Field Studies for people with Learning Difficulties are particularly noteworthy as it uses a range of multimedia and motivating exploratory activities to introduce environments such as the town and countryside. These activities are single- and two-switch accessible. The entire site can be speech supported making it accessible for people with visual impairment or reading difficulties such as dyslexia and has subtitles available for people with hearing impairment.
I don’t think the software companies are doing too badly. The BBC were ordered to spend £45 million of Jam’s £150 million budget on buying content from 3rd parties and in addition to this the government recently effectively subsidised the commercial sector £200 million through the eLearning Credits scheme. The complaints against the service are understandable – especially from fledgling companies – I just hope that they start providing more inclusive solutions.
BBC Jam: www.bbc.co.uk/jam
Entry Filed under: Websites