Mayer’s principles of multimedia learning


It’s been a busy first term, but a highlight was delivering a PD session on one of my favourite examples of instructional design research in Mayer’s principles of multimedia learning. Great, practical advice for developing multimedia-rich learning experiences.
Thanks to Dave McAlinden for being a sounding board as I put these together!

Resource: Introduction to Databases


I recently put the finishing touches on task DB1, my introduction to databases for IGCSE ICT students. This was one of the first attempts I made at using video tutorials to support student learning with non-basic software – in this case, Microsoft Access. First time around, there were a few issues with chronology of tutorials (I made a mistake that threw off more than one video), problems...

Student video project showcase: introducing Creative Commons


In ITGS this month students were given a (very!) brief introduction to animation principles in Adobe After Effects, then tasked with creating a short “explainer” video for Creative Commons licensing. As usual, they didn’t disappoint, with some really spectacular pieces of work being submitted. Here are two particularly stellar examples: This video took more of a promotional...

Building a school media library with Google Apps for Education


If you’re anything like me, you like to use multimedia in the classroom. From tried & tested documentaries from the BBC, Discovery Channel, etc, to shorter clips and audio tracks, my students are well-supplied with a large range of supporting materials. Up until now, these have generally lived in one of three places: on a networked drive at the school, which allows me to keep control over...

Thinking deep: beyond the specification


Students often struggle with higher level thinking skills when introduced to them for the first time. In this post I talk about exceeding the expectations of exam boards by going beyond an A* through embedding deep, critical thinking throughout the curriculum.

A final defence of ICT


It has been over a month since it was announced that the ICT curriculum faced review, and I still don’t feel like it is being done well. The overwhelming majority of press coverage, including articles where industry experts are being questioned, seems to offer only two options: keep the current curriculum, or replace it with computer science. Surely those aren't the only two choices...

Long-term learning: embracing the Cornell method


For as long as I’ve been teaching content that requires more than a handful of notes, I have encouraged my students to use the Cornell method for note taking. Copying by rote doesn't work beyond remembering things. For comprehension & understanding we need a different approach - one I think is encouraged by this method.

The National Curriculum Review: first thoughts


There has been an understandably frenzied response to the initial findings of the National Curriculum Review expert panel report that was released earlier this month, particularly from ICT teachers who are facing the prospect of their subject being marginalised, or others who think it will be removed altogether. But are the report findings all bad news for ICT teachers?

Critical thinking in the curriculum


Critical thinking was once the purview of classicists & philosophers, but with those subjects still being squeezed out of schools that view them as elitist or irrelevant in the modern world, where does critical thinking fit?

What would your curriculum look like?


In September I moved to the beautiful island of St Helena in the South Atlantic. I recently started work on revamping the ICT curriculum, and am currently looking at a blank piece of paper surrounded by piles of reading material. What would you do?

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