As well as being an Interactive Whiteboard trainer for Smart/Steljes I also train for other educational companies. One of those is Espresso, which for those that don’t know is an excellent library of video clips, news articles and Flash activities for Primary Schools. I have been training for them for about 18months and I love the product. The quality of the videos is very good and Espresso quite deservedly won a BAFTA last month.

So I was very interested to see their secondary product, Clipbank, today at a session designed to get us up to speed with the product to be able to deliver training to schools next year as they buy into it.

Espresso acquired Channel 4 Learning earlier in the year, and Clipbank was one of the products they inherited. They’ve spent a lot of time tweaking the product to be delivered on a server in-school in the same way as Espresso and the new-look version will be on-show at Bett next month.

Like Espresso you get a very simple user-interface that gives easy access to a wealth of video clips (currently over 2000 clips) for 8 subjects. The quality of the clips is excellent, as you would expect for a company with their media experience.

The potential for using resources like Espresso and Clipbank on the IWB is huge. It means teachers can use short video clips to introduce a lesson or as a way of summarising the main points. Whiteboard tools such as the camera can be used to grab screenshots from the video and bring into the IWB software for annotation. A sequence of screenshots could even be taken and then used as a sequencing activity.

So a great resource, and I look forward to getting stuck in delivering training in Clipbank next year.

The other excitement from the day came from the fact that Espresso headquarters is at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. This is also a working TV studio where the likes of Doctor Who and TFI Friday were filmed. Today they just happened to be filming the Top of the Pops Xmas Special. Apparently the likes of Girls Aloud and the Kaiser Chiefs were in the building. There were huge bouncers on the door and paparazzi hanging around outside. I did see quite a few hairy types carrying guitars and stuff wandering around the canteen but if they were famous I didn’t recognise them. It is definitely a sign that I am getting old(er) in that I wouldn’t recognise a Kaiser Chief if it came up and kicked me in the backside…. I know their songs but couldn’t point one out in a line up.

The Proclaimers were also there apparently, and I’d have much more chance of spotting them, had I managed to see one.

But I didn’t. Which was a shame.