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Digital pedagogy in a cross-cultural environment

Digital pedagogy in a cross-cultural environment



My contribution to the panel focuses on using digital resources in the media studies classroom to assist in the delivery of broadcast related modules for undergraduate students. For my PhD study I research BBC Northern Ireland radio programmes, critically assessing the implications they had on identity formation, within the period 1924 to 1956.


In most cases, media studies can be taken in two areas: production and/or history of broadcasting and media studies. At Queen’s University at the moment there is an emphasis being placed on incorporating an undergraduate degree in production into the prospectus. With this in mind, I have reflected on the integration of digital resources in the classroom, to aid teaching and align with the objective of delivering, to students, both a practical, but also theoretical and historical grounding of media studies as a discipline.

Clip: The McCooeys (1949-1956) – ‘Letter from America’

This clip can be accessed from this link: *

If you cannot access this, and would still like to listen to this, please contact me via email.

*See at the end of this post for subtitles

Aims for learning

Students will engage in local broadcast material through archival sources from the BBC NI Community Radio Archive
Develop a historical knowledge of media history, production, and reception.
Engage in theoretical and methodological implications of media productions from Northern Ireland.  A key area of study will be the cross-cultural media examples from digital archived productions.
Foundation in institutional history of the BBC as a public service broadcaster. One session will also address the terms ‘PSB’ and ‘Commercial’ broadcasters.
Learn to assess media production in a wider context, exploring political, historical and social contexts which inform and impact local productions.

In the classroom

Digital programmes offer an insight into media representations of Northern Ireland.
Social history of Northern Ireland can be accessible when students investigate the political and historical context of a programme’s production.
Insight gained from the BBC’s production and how they approached broadcasting in Northern Ireland.
Investigate identity theories in a society undergoing political, social and historical change


Making cross-cultural links

This clip is an example of how digital resources are used in a classroom setting.

It offers a unique example for students who wish to critically engage in the cross cultural differences present within Northern Ireland.

The McCooeys serves as an example of accent, dialect and local community programming.

From 1949 – its first year of production – to 1956, The McCooeys was the most popular, long running radio serial in Northern Ireland.

Students will be introduced to key terms of broadcasting with aspects such as ‘what is the popular’, ‘what the origins and development of radio serials looked like’ and ‘how audiences from a fractious political divide might engage with this programme’.

The example of radio archived programmes serves both ‘home’ students from Northern Ireland, and those from further afield to exchange knowledge and perceptions regarding identity, language (specifically here accent and dialect) and perception of social history. It could be an introduction to how media has represented Northern Ireland and how it can assist a fuller understanding of the place.

One of the key questions on the topic blog site was: ‘How can we stimulate their curiosity towards other cultures through the use of online materials, tools and resources?’

My answer to this would be through the use of diverse digital resources online, which exist through media representation of cultures, but also through a diverse range of platforms, such as archived material, online media players (such as iPlayer for BBC, Netflix and online digital spaces).




*Subtitles to ‘Letter from America’


 SARAH: ‘Adios Amigo’. Never heard that before, is it foreign?

GRANDA: Aye, its Spanish for mother open the windy, I want to empty the ice tray

ALL: Ha ha ha ha ha

SARAH: Ah here, look, let, let, let, us see the shirts

GRANDA: Ah, wait, wait, wait. Here, here, here, how many are there now. Wait ‘til we see…one…two…three…four…FOUR…

SAMMY: He didn’t insult you anyway

GRANDA: Texas wouldn’t know the meaning of that word Sammy. Here Sammy, look at that, look at that.

SALLY: Oh heavens that would give you a headache looking at it. Here is it badly worn?

SARAH Ah they don’t look to me as if they have ever been worn.

MAGGIE: They’re brand new mother


SAMMY: Of course they are. There’s the white threads, criss-crossing the neck of them.

GRANDA: A mustard check, a green check, a purple check and a red check. Awww all the primary as well as the secondary colours

SAMMY: Feel the thickness of them..

SAMMY AND GRANDA: aww aww aww

GRANDA: Aww aww aww. Sammy like bulls lugs

SARAH: There’re not shirts, they’re horse blankets.

SALLY: Horse blankets? 

SARAH: Yes, there’re like what the hearse drivers used to put round the horses when they were stopped outside a pub.

GRANDA: Sarah, would cease your inane remarks by keeping your tongue in a resting position in your mouth and sealing your lips at the same time. 


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