As Kian, his classmates and thousands of teenagers prepare for their GCSE and Scottish National/Higher exams, BBC Learning has launched a free app delivering Bitesize revision flashcards direct to smartphones.
I don’t know about you but I am sure the kids are being pushed much harder for results than we ever were. Kian has had to attend revision sessions at school over the Easter holidays and next week they are keeping him at school until 5.30pm for extra revision sessions.
I am already a big fan of BBC Bitesize, the curriculum-linked online education resource for children and young people delivered by BBC Learning as both Abbey and Callan used it to help them revise for their GCSE’s. The new app will ensure that the BBC’s commitment to supporting formal education keeps pace with changes in the way that young people are accessing online revision tools and resources.
The recent Childwise Monitor Report found that 94 per cent of 15-16 year-olds have their own mobile phone, spending four hours per day on average accessing the internet on it, with 61 per cent saying that their phone is the first thing they check in the morning and/or the last thing they check at night. Research by EdComs on behalf of the BBC found that more than three-fifths of Key Stage 4 Bitesize users said that they used a smartphone to access Bitesize at home in Summer term 2015.
By signing in and entering information, including their country within the UK, school year, subjects and exam boards, students will be presented with personalised, relevant revision flashcards. These will include a mix of text, audio, video, infographics, quotes and quizzes. Content is available in English and Welsh.
The launch version of the app will include curriculum-linked content for the core subjects of English, maths and science. Further subjects and increased functionality will be added with each future update of the app. In the meantime, students of all ages will be able to access curriculum-linked content across a much wider range of subjects on the desktop Bitesize.
Teenagers say that BBC Bitesize makes a real difference to their confidence and attainment. A survey conducted with students after completing their GCSE exams last summer found that four fifths of Bitesize users agreed that ‘Bitesize helped me feel more prepared for my exams’ (80%); Just over half of Bitesize users agreed ‘Bitesize helped me to achieve better grades in my GCSEs’ (57%) and ‘I’d have found it harder to get through my GCSEs without Bitesize’ (51%), while 45% agreed ‘I’d have done worse in my GCSEs without Bitesize’.
Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, says: “Nine in 10 Key Stage 4 students already use BBC Bitesize during the summer term and last year’s GCSE students say it helped them feel more prepared for their exams and achieve better grades. This new app will deliver personalised Bitesize revision cards to teenagers on their smartphones, supporting their studies outside the classroom – at home or on the go. Alongside the recent launch of BBC Live Lessons for schools and major educational campaigns like the BBC miro:bit, this is a further demonstration of the BBC’s continued commitment to education.”
Lisa Percy, Executive Editor for BBC Bitesize, says: “BBC Bitesize has been supporting students for many years now, and we know that revision isn’t fun. Many students find exam time tough, but we’re really pleased to be able to offer this app as a practical tool to help see them through the revision period. Staying motivated, keeping calm and getting to grips with those facts and figures can be hard, but we’re here to help, whenever and wherever we’re needed.”