As a follow-up to an earlier posting on BBC Jam...
First of all, if you don't know what Augmented Reality is, watch this - it's a commercial company's presentation, so it's not completely committed to education:
Just before Easter (at a date I can't quite remember - actually, it was the 20th March) I sent an email to the BBC Trust about the withdrawal of the Jam service. Nothing happened for a very long time. I heard all sorts of comments about why it was withdrawn:
- because it was rubbish, or because the BBC thought it was rubbish
- because it didn't have enough users, or they weren't "real" users
- because other software suppliers in the industry would have controlled its direction
- because the BBC recognised that it had stepped outside of its remit
and some others... anyway, things bubbled along on the Naacetalk list, I had a few conversations with people from Jam, from BESA and others who move in these sorts of circles. The BESAesque view appeared to be that the BBC had finally admitted that Jam was rubbish after all, while the insiders' view was that Becta, whose role had moved from an advisory one to a policymaking one, would instruct the BBC Trust to make Jam and its ilk subject to a content-focused version of the Becta Content Advisory Board - which would have representatives from [insert a list of names of large educational software suppliers here] who would basically set the direction and remit for the BBC - like asking Sir Alex to allow Arsène to pick his team and choose tactics I guess. A look at the schedule of the CAB shows that it didn't meet for ages in 2006 and then met in December (here's the agenda in PDF - shortly after this BBC Jam was frozen) and then it apparently met again in January, shortly after which Jam was suspended. In this situation it doesn't take too much thought to see why the Trust would pull the service and this situation was described as such in a letter to a recent edition of the Guardian's Link E-Learning section, but it appears not to be on the site - unless someone can find it for me!
Anyway, I eventually got a reply from the Trust... nothing gripping but it's instructive to read the minutes of various meetings of the BBC Trust which mention Jam (page 6 of 24-01-2007 and page 9 of 21-02-2007) - the phrase you're looking for is "witheld from public minutes" - which probably tells you all you'll find out about the real reasons...
4th May edit... thanks to Leon Cych, here's a QuickTime of Adrian Woolard showing a demo of the BBC AR software (which was available for a six month period for free):