ICT Evangelist Newsletter Sharing teaching and learning ideas with and without technology


Happy New Year!

This is the first ICT Evangelist newsletter. Its aim is to on a monthly basis provide a few things to help educators with teaching, learning and technology. It will feature in each edition:

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

If you are interested in sponsoring this newsletter, please contact Mark on Twitter via @ICTEvangelist

Recommended resource

Check out Seeing AI. A free app from Microsoft. Groundbreaking in many ways and ever so helpful to those with visual impairments. This amazing app takes what it can see, analyse it and then tell you what it can see.

It can describe scenes, read bar codes and tell you what you're holding, it can speak text automatically and can even read facial expressions and emotions.

Seeing AI is made by Microsoft and only available currently for iOS. You can download it here.

Recommended app of the month

This month the recommended app for you to check out in your classroom is a relatively new one on me. Vocal Recall, its name clearly a play on the eighties sci-fi blockbuster, 'Total Recall', is a great app for giving all manner of different types of feedback using your voice. It's explained really well in the photo below:

How to use Vocal Recall

With this in mind, anything you can put a sticker on can receive feedback. Whether that's MFL books with a corrected pronunciation, more extended feedback than you could actually write on an essay, pointing exactly to the place where there's a problem on a piece of work with an explanation that can be paused, rewound or repeated. It's good!

You can download Vocal Recall for free from the iOS app store here and from the Google Play store here.

Guest recommended teaching and learning resource

Kate Jones

Retrieval practice is a research-informed, effective strategy to recap previous learning, check pupil's subject knowledge and ultimately to help them retain information and store it in their long term memory.

The original challenge grid was a quizzing activity that included a range of questions that varied in their level of difficulty. The harder they got, the more points they were worth.

I decided to adapt this to link in with retrieval practice to have questions from last lesson, last week… the further you go back in time, the more points the questions are worth. This is to revisit, check their understanding and add information into long term memory.

Retrieval Practice Challenge Grid

I decided to make this in Keynote simply because it was so much quicker for me to do this than in PowerPoint or Word. It was very quick and easy to do once I had created the questions. The boxes were easy to make and just to spice it up a bit and add some images, I grabbed some icons from the brilliant flaticon.com. It is a very simple design because the focus is obviously on the question and the retrieval practice.

Recommended book

The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde

If you are interested in using either pen and paper or technology to sketchnote then this is a great book to help get you started with some techniques to really improve the quality of your sketches. Using the techniques in this book has massively improved my sketchnotes and various images that I share.

Additionally, if you are interested in dual coding then this should also be of interest to you. One of the things which has held me back from sketching over the years has been a lack of confidence in my abilities to draw and represent things successfully. Whilst this isn't as important when it comes to dual coding, it does help with your happiness with your abilities with sketching but it also produces much more helpful sketches as a result. Another benefit I have found, particularly when sketching live, is that because I have practised the techniques, I am far better at getting something reasonably visually correct in a much shorter space of time meaning I am much more able to produce better sketches.

It's well worth a look.

Blog post of the month

Making the most of #BETT2018

It's BETT month and so on this month's newsletter I'm sharing a blog post of mine I wrote to help those travelling to ExCel later this month for the huge edtech tradeshow.

Wednesday at BETT

You can catch me on the NetSupport stand at D120 on the Wednesday running sessions at 13:30 and 16:30. If you'd like to come across at other times I will be around to have a chat with and offer advice and help.

Thursday at BETT

On Thursday you can catch me over in BETT Futures supporting the Unio by Harness team. Please do come over and say hi!

Friday at BETT

On the Friday at BETT I will be running a variety of workshops (location to be announced) incorporating 2 School Leader Summits, a Teaching and Learning session and a 'Geek Off' at 4pm where there is a chance to win an awesome prize too. Watch out for updates on the #BETTGeekOff on Twitter!


Thanks for reading this far. I hope you've enjoyed this first newsletter. Let me please wish you a very successful new year and hope that it is happy, balanced and successful.

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

If you are interested in working with me, then please click the button below.


Created By
Mark Anderson


Created with images by Chris Biron - "Chamonix mountains" • skeeze - "snow forest winter" • Mark Solarski - "Apple iPhone X" • afididubai - "dubai desert sand" • Courtney Corlew - "untitled image" • Heidi Sandstrom. - "untitled image"

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