Archive for May, 2021

Digital technologies

Friday, May 7th, 2021


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This article provides an overview of teaching with digital technologies. It defines digital technologies and digital learning as follows:


·      Digital technologies are electronic tools, systems, devices and resources that generate, store or process data. Well known examples include social media, online games, multimedia and mobile phones.


·      Digital learning is any type of learning that uses technology. It can happen across all curriculum learning areas.


It lists the following set of tools that can be used for developing the curriculum:


·      FUSE is a content library of teaching materials and educational resources. It covers traditional text resources, multimedia, video and interactive materials.

·      Virtual conferencing is where students can interact and learn with others outside their classroom by using virtual learning and conferencing.

·       Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 online services provide access to contemporary digital classroom tools and support for BYOD through services that can be accessed on Windows, Apple, Android and ChromeBooks.

·       Minecraft: Education Edition is a collaborative and versatile platform that educators can use across subjects to encourage 21st-century skills.

·       ClickView is a suite of thousands of interactive videos and related resources that support learning and teaching across all subject areas. 

·       Stile provides over 70 Science units, each containing a mixture of content delivery, formative assessment, summative assessment, experiments, projects, classroom activities, and STEM career profiles.

·       Sibelius is a music notation program designed for composing, orchestrating and designing workshops. 

·       Wolfram software are internationally recognised, industry standard, powerful learning tools that can be used across STEM with applications in the areas of computation, problem modelling, coding and more.  

· is an online learning platform that provides anytime, anywhere access to a library of over 209,200 unique “how to” videos across three areas - Business, Creative and Technology Skills.

·       Boardmaker Online provides a multi-level approach to creating engaging print and interactive materials for special education needs. 

·       Comic Life can be used across a range of Learning Areas for the creation of comics and storyboards. 



This site suggests the following ways technologies can be used by teachers and students:


  • Students can use programmes or applications designed for problem solving or open-ended learning
  • Examples of technologies that teachers can use include interactive whiteboards or learning platforms


It goes on to suggest the following:


  • Effective use of digital technology is driven by learning and teaching goals rather than a specific technology: the technology is not an end in itself.
  • New technology does not automatically lead to increased attainment.
  • Consider how will any new technology support pupils to work harder, for longer, or more efficiently, to improve their learning.
  • Pupils’ motivation to use technology does not always translate into more effective learning, particularly if the use of the technology and the desired learning outcomes are not closely aligned.
  • Teachers need support and time to learn to use new technology effectively. This involves more than just learning how to use the hardware or software; training should also support teachers to understand how it can be used for learning.


This site lists the following useful articles on digital technologies:


  1. Video technologies for working from home
  2. GPS, What3Words and Location
  3. 5G and Virtual Reality
  4. Smart homes
  5. Cloud and SaaS
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  7. Deep fake and AI
  8. Bitcoin and blockchain
  9. Cybersecurity and Biometrics
  10. Combination of tech such as AI, IOT, Drones and connectivity
  11. Mobile Phone Roaming & Digital Connectivity using eSIMs



Innovating Pedagogy Report 2021

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021



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The Open University UK produces a valuable annual report, Innovating Pedagogy. This aims to explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. Ten innovations are considered which have not yet had a major impact on Education. These are:

·      Best learning moments

·      Enriched realities

·      Gratitude as a pedagogy

·      Using Chatbots in learning

·      Equity-oriented learning in pedagogy

·      Hip hop based education

·      Student co-created teaching and learning

·      Telecollaboration for language learning

·      Evidence based teaching

·      Corpus based pedagogy

COVID and learning and teaching

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021


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I have been reflecting on the impact of COVID on working practices. Many of us are now working from home. This is made easier by the range of online tools now available to share and discuss our ideas; Google Docs is now frequently used to co-create documents, and tools such as Teams and Zoom are now commonly used. Most of us are comfortable using these and of course there is the opportunity for sessions to be recorded. Whilst this is good in that it enables us to continue working together many of us are missing face-to-face interaction. There are a number of benefits, for example: visual clues from colleagues and the value of coffee room interactions. A key question is what will the longer-term impact be? Will we return to our previous ways of working or adopt a more blended approach and continue to use Google Docs, Teams and Zoom? This useful link lists the following factors:


  1. The test optional movement will become permanent
  2. Higher education institutions will be increasingly and lastingly held accountable to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) metrics
  3. Although most students desire a return to in-person learning, the majority also want to continue having the option to take classes online
  4.  The norm that all lectures are video recorded for student review later
  5. There will be strong and lasting demand among both faculty and staff to continue to have work-at-home or other virtual work options
  6. The long-standing emphasis on building the physical infrastructure of college campuses will give way to an emphasis building the virtual infrastructure
  7. Virtual internships and jobs will grow in prevalence
  8. Employers will continue to drive a growing movement toward non-degree education and non-traditional degrees
  9. Many universities made innovative changes to their academic calendar during Covid and are now recognising that these changes can provide valuable flexibility to both students and faculty while also providing degree acceleration opportunities for those looking to graduate more quickly
  10. There will be a new kind of price war in higher education
  11. Elite colleges and universities are no longer role models