ICT Evangelist Newsletter - april 2018 edition Sharing teaching and learning ideas with and without technology


I can't believe how time has flown in recent weeks. The Easter holidays, work in the UAE and Doha and all over the UK. It's certainly been busy!

Apologies for the late release of this, my April newsletter. Thank you to everyone who has been checking the newsletter out. With more than 10,000 views per month, it is really humbling to see educators connecting and sharing the ideas within the newsletter.

During my trip to the UAE I got to meet lots of fantastic educators such as many of the team at the JESS (Jumeirah English Speaking School), I also interviewed Steph Bernier of the VISS school from Sharjah and Mark Duncan from 365Edu and so I have some great episodes coming up for the podcast which I cannot wait to share with you!

Sharing the periodic table of iOS apps for AR and VR

As with every newsletter we have our regular features:

  • a featured resource
  • a recommend app with ideas for its use
  • a recommended teaching and learning resource
  • recommended reading
  • blog post of the month

If you are interested in sponsoring this newsletter then please get in touch using the button below

Featured resource

Someone who I count as one of my most important members of my PLN is teacher, trainer and blogger, Simon Johnson, known to many as CLC Simon. His website features lots of different ideas on using technology effectively and in particular, ways in which you can connect with and learn with other educators as part of your professional learning network.

Infographic by Simon Johnson @clcsimon

This month I would like to feature Simon's site as my resource for you to check out. With lots of great infographics like the one you can see above, plus ideas for web tools for teachers, flipping the classroom, working with BYOD, gamification and games based learning, there's a lot there to check out.

Recommended app of the month

This month's recommended app is the great free app from the BBC called Civilisations. This app gives the user the chance to explore some of the most important artefacts from human history in augmented reality or in a simple 3D mode.

As you'll see in the video above, the app enables you to see, interact with and hear information about the artefact you're examining. You can zoom in and out and in the AR mode you can move around the object in your own environment. Pressing the book icon at the bottom allows you to read further information about the artefact and there are links to websites with more information on too.

There are five different themes you can explore:

  • Early Civilisations
  • Human Body
  • Faith
  • Encounters
  • Progress and Modernity

There are 41 different artefacts that you can explore within the app and more are being added all of the time too. The app is available on iOS, is free and has a 4+ age rating.

Recommended teaching and learning resource

Someone who's blog I've been reading for many years is that of Alex Quigley who is @huntingenglish on Twitter. He has had many different foci on his blog over the years but given his specialist area of English as a subject, a lot of the posts have been around this area focusing often on language acquisition.

In a recent Twitter chat I saw him reference a model called the SEEC model which sounded really useful. SEEC stands for:

  • Select
  • Explain
  • Explore
  • Consolidate

Searching for the resource he mentioned on his site brough up a plethora of great resources linked to his new book 'Closing the [vocabulary] gap'.

There are some great ideas and resources here, not just related to the SEEC model and would strongly urge you to check them out, particularly the 'Seven strategies for exploring unfamiliar vocabulary'. I haven't read this book so cannot comment upon it however if it is as good as his previous 'Confident Teacher' book, I'm sure you'll be pleased you got a copy.

Recommended Reading

This month I'd like to share with you a book that has been one I've found myself going back to time and time again - a sign of a good book! It is 'Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times' by Eric Sheninger.

Steeped in his personal experience working across New Jersey as a school leader, this book sets out how you can make a difference as a school leader when you choose to embrace new technologies. Across the book, Sheninger lays out his masterplan across his 7 pillars of digital leadership:

  • Communication
  • Public relations
  • Branding
  • Professional growth and development
  • Student engagement and learning
  • Opportunity
  • Learning environment and spaces
Digital leadership is about establishing a vision and implementing a strategic process that creates a teaching and learning culture that provides students with essential skill sets.

The book is jam packed full of ideas on how to modernise your school from curricula to engaging with communities, learners, teachers and focusing on learning in modern and relevant ways; all linked to personal experience. It is well worth a read. It is compelling and given the success of the schools and districts that Eric has worked with, it's a firm favourite in my book collection.

Blog of the month

Blake Harvard - effortfuleducator.com

Blake Harvard @effortfuleduktr

This month, rather than share a specific blog post I wanted to highlight the blog of someone that I find myself returning to over and over again; that is the blog of Blake Harvard, a Psychology teacher from the US. On his blog he says:

I have a particular affinity for all things cognition and psychology; especially when those areas are also paired with education and learning. I wanted to start a blog to highlight research being done on learning, memory, and cognition and their connections to the classroom.

I have found his blog to be insightful and really interesting. As we move to a new era (I think) of education where more and more teachers are taking cutting-edge research and applying it to their own classroom; Blake's approaches are not only steeped in 'what works' based upon research but also shares how he applies that to his own classrooms.

What I particularly like about Blake's blog is not only that he documents the good, the bad and the stuff that doesn't quite work but also his attitude and approach to his teaching to support his students learning. Blake is humble enough to know that he doesn't know everything but he's dedicated to always try and do his best by his students. This shines through in all of his posts and I've learned a lot from reading them.

An example of a piece of work by one of Blake's students following learning about dual coding and the impact that has had on note taking in his classroom.

An example of this would be where he wrote about dual coding in his classroom and shared his thoughts on this and the impact it had for some of his learners in his classroom. Thoughtful. Reflective. Impactful. It's a really interesting blog and worthy of checking out.

Another post that I really enjoyed, advocating for blogging as educators would be his excellent post '365 days a blogger' where he reflects upon blogging and the impact that has had on him during his first year of blogging. Another great post is the one where he explores the application of spaced practice in his classroom and suggests some easy strategies that have helped him.

Whichever way you look at it, there are lots of great posts where Blake shows what a thoughtful and reflective practitioner he is and for my money, I think he nearly always hits the nail on the head. I've learned lots from his writing. Something I love about Blake is his humility and his love of his job. He writes about it here where he says thank you to his students.

He knows he doesn't know everything but he's willing to learn more and adapt his teaching to improve his students learning based upon what he's learning from the research. It is well worth a read and he is worth a follow on Twitter too.


Thanks for reading this far. I hope you have found the newsletter useful.

If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter, please contact Mark via ictevangelist.com.

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Created By
Mark Anderson


Created with images by Anthony DELANOIX - "Spring flower blossoms on branch" • walsarabi - "doha skyline skyline doha" • Photo-Mix - "twitter social media communication" • Riccardo Annandale - "untitled image" • Courtney Corlew - "untitled image" • Heidi Sandstrom. - "untitled image"

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