Box of Broadcasts, better know to its admirers as BoB, is officially “a shared online off-air TV and radio recording service for education“. In practice that means it a giant internet-based store-cupboard of TV and radio programmes for use in teaching. There are over 60 channels available, including several foreign language stations. Recording can be requested into the system any time up to 30 days after transmission by any user, including university students. BoB *is* a subscription service, so unfortunately it is only available to member institutions. However, the fees are very reasonable and growing numbers of Universities, Colleges and Schools are recognising the value.
Why use BoB? Lots of reasons – the ease of ordering, recording and sharing materials is a huge bonus. No waiting for one of your colleagues to return the DVD to the library; if you want to recommend that all of your students watch a programme before your next tutorial, you can!
“Can’t I just point them to YouTube?” Possibly, for some programmes you can. However, unlike many of the episodes you might find on YouTube or similar services, any programme that can be accessed via the BoB facility is placed there with the full blessing of the Educational Recording Agency (ERA), which licenses the use of broadcast material for education in both Schools and Universities.
Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, BoB is only available to UK-based users… sorry. Of course, if you can get hold of the programmes via some other means (e.g. old video or betamax copies in the school science prep room), then any recommendations we might make here regarding possible uses are still true.
BoB was developed by the British Universities Film and Video Council in conjunction with Cambridge Imaging Systems along with Bournemouth University. No-one at Biologyonthebox can take any credit for the parental BoB tool (and equally none of the other organisations named in this paragraph should be held responsible for any of the faults on this site).