KEven though the new lockdown was announced in Great Britain on Monday evening, the BBC followed up with happier news: The British public service broadcaster would open up “the largest educational offer in its history” – a training offensive on television and on the laptop to deal with the consequences of the meanwhile cushion third lockdowns. Schools in the country are expected to remain closed until at least mid-February after the number of corona cases rose sharply due to a mutation in the virus.
From now on, elementary school students can watch “CBBC”, where they do a three-hour block in the mornings employ becomes. Older students are served on “BBC Two”, including adaptations of Shakespeare works or history programs. There should be online learning formats in various subjects.
All of this was brought to the public with force. As if on call, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the offer as “fantastic”. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, the BBC has “helped the country through some of the toughest moments of the past century” and will now support children and their parents in the pandemic – and thus “save lives”.
The news of the big plans quickly reached Germany via social media. Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch tweeted that “such a school television would also be a useful support for parents and children who pay radio fees in homeschooling”. The green MEP Erik Marquardt askedwhen there will be a similar program in Germany.
The answer: the program has been around for almost a year. And in a big way. The word just didn’t seem to get around everywhere.
Inquiries from ARD and ZDF, WDR and BR produce a litany of educational formats that the broadcasters expanded once more during lockdown – on TV, in media libraries, via YouTube, as a podcast. Elaborately produced, with hashtags like #gernelernen or # ZeitFür.
“The state broadcasters have the difficult situation of schoolchildren, teachers and parents in view in the pandemic,” writes an ARD spokeswoman. “We therefore rely on the Educational content of the ARD, on the radio, on the net or in the ARD media library. Schoolchildren and teachers can find learning opportunities there whenever and as often as they want. “
On linear television, the first half of the day is particularly well-filled during the week. The WDR sends on weekdays 7.20 a.m. the format “Planet School” with weekly focus topics. This will follow until the end of January 10:25 a.m. “Planet Knowledge” and an hour later the “Show with the mouse”.
The education channel ARD-alpha will be broadcasting from next week weekdays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. the broadcast “School at home”, their consequences are also available online – arranged according to grades and topics. The children’s channel (KiKA) is planning “special programming” over the next three weeks.
Large online offer via media libraries and YouTube
And the Internet is also being upgraded. The ZDF says, among other things, one has its offer under the title “Terra X plus school” in its media library and on the corresponding YouTube channel “considerably increased”. Come regularly Explanatory videos from the subjects of geography, biology, chemistry and physics. On Südwestrundfunk (SWR) is available with “Star themes” a special offer for high school graduates in German. The Hessischer Rundfunk (MR) updates that “Children’s Radio College”.
The BR writes that in 2020 they “invested in technical infrastructure and server capacities” in order to be able to provide more educational offers. Among other things, the channel runs a for older students extensive websitewho, in “so geht MEDIEN”, explains how journalists report and how to recognize fake news. Even ski star Felix Neureuther has been brought on board to participate in the online program “Fit with Felix“To compensate for failed physical education classes as much as possible.
In Bavaria they are also extremely satisfied with the response so far. In the media library and on YouTube, more than 10.5 million views were generated between March and December, writes a spokesman. ARD-alpha significantly increased the number of its viewers in the first few months of the corona pandemic and temporarily achieved a market share of 5.7 percent among 6 to 19 year olds in Bavaria.
The offers were advertised via school newsletters, advertisements or reports in subway infotainment systems. There is no trace of disappointment that the German government, unlike its British counterparts, is not making the offers more public. That’s how it works.
“Interest in educational programs not easy to use”
Elsewhere people are less satisfied. In spring, at the beginning of the first lockdown, the MDR set up the “school lesson” within a short time – the live online was followed by only 350 viewers. At WDR, which “offered more educational opportunities” in the first lockdown, the results were then evaluated and came to a rather sobering result: It had been shown “that interest in linearly broadcast educational programs does not easily increase even when schools are closed operate is “.
Education via television programs, it was concluded, could only be a supplement to distance teaching, not a substitute, even in lockdown. Because of individual curricula, it is difficult to “tailor” the various age groups and school types as needed. Nevertheless, in addition to the existing offers, the editorial team is looking into other ideas to reach students and teachers.
This is well received by politicians with an affinity for the media: “In times when criticism of the public broadcasters is not spared, this offer is an important sign,” says the media policy spokeswoman for the Union parliamentary group, Elisabeth Motschmann – not without another one herself let go of a subtle swipe at the channels. “The corona pandemic also offers public broadcasters an opportunity to focus on the core mission of information, culture and education.”