Digital Resources

What do we need to consider?

See what the DCSF / University of Warwick report had to say

Introductory note

The DCSF research project included an extensive audit of resources, which included the range of digital resources that are available for RE (e.g. CD-ROM, DVD, software, video, audio and film). The audit will be published at a later date. Most teachers are making use of digital resources, including those specifically sold as RE resources and many which are not. As well as the use of original source materials (e.g. tape, CD, slide, radio, TV, etc.), an increasing number of digital resources are being obtained via a web portal (e.g. the BBC iPlayer or BBC website), which may itself draw on a range of sources. With the advent of new media players and the digitisation and online provision of materials, the boundaries between the web and other media are becoming blurred.

As the remit of the DCSF research project was to look at resources used in RE, the role and use of ‘social media’ (more properly referred to as ‘Web 2.0’ technologies) was not included. For an explanation of social media and their possible role in RE, see the ‘What can you do?’ section of the Celebrating RE website:

What do we need to consider?

Do we include a suitable range of film material in our RE programme and is it used in the most effective way?

Whether it be The Snowman and Charlotte's Web in the primary school, or Gandhi and Shooting Dogs in the secondary, many teachers have effectively integrated film into their RE programmes. The warning in the DCSF report that ‘DVD/film materials can be over-used in the classroom, especially when the whole film is shown’ is a reminder, however, that there are less and more effective ways of using film to promote learning in RE.

For a number of articles on the use of film in RE, see:

The moving image: exploring the spirit through digital video

Using films about peace and violence in RE

Harnessing the power of film in RE

How can sound stimuli, including speech and music, be used to promote learning in RE?

It is sometimes claimed that those brought up in the Western world are more alive to the visual (such as printed text) while those brought up in the East are more alive to sound stimuli (aural and oral). This raises the educational issue of whether classrooms can provide a corrective through giving pupils the opportunity to listen to, focus on and respond to sound. The Developing Religious Education Through Music section of the NATRE website contains a number of articles as well as a database of songs divided into 60 RE themes.