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


So BETT is now done with for another year, and what a conference it was this year. After what I thought was a bit of a slow start I don't think I have ever seen it so busy.

It was great to catch up with so many amazing edtech companies and educators and learn about some of the latest advances in technology.

One company that I met with is now sponsoring the newsletter and it’s a match that works for me. VideoScribe is one of those brilliant tools you can easily use in the classroom to create brilliant explainer videos. I’m very pleased to be working with them on my newsletter.

One of my favourite things I got up to was the opportunity to meet and interview Microsoft's Global VP for Education, Anthony Salcito. You can watch the interview and summary of their new initiatives and features in the video below:

Just some of the amazing people I got to meet and work with this week

February 2018 edition

As with last month's inaugural newsletter, in this edition we have:

  • 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

Watch out for resources around Safer Internet Day 2018 on ictevangelist.com.

Sponsored by Videoscribe

VideoScribe is the easiest and fastest way for teachers and students to create immersive explainer videos on any subject. Built for blended learning and the modern classroom, the highly intuitive software makes both teaching and learning rewarding, fun and truly interactive. From tech-savvy kindergarten children through to post-graduate and even distance learners, VideoScribe helps to make education feel effortless. Check out the example video below.

VideoScribe is easy for both teachers and students to use.

Check out the 7 day free trial to discover for yourself how easy and effective VideoScribe is to use.

Recommended resource

Something I make from time to time is a periodic table of apps. Over the last few months, Dubai-based educator Steve Bambury and I have developed a new one, this time featuring iOS apps for AR and VR and it's been insanely popular on Twitter and on the blog so I thought I'd share it as my recommended resource for this month.

The Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR

This hi-resolution version can be downloaded via the original blog post. Feel free to download, print and share being mindful of the license on the image too. To help everyone find all of these different apps on the App Store, you can also access an interactive ThingLink version of the table which links each of the app icons to the App Store.

Recommended app of the month

This month, I'm not going to recommend an app per se, but an add-on for Google Docs - Kaizena.

Kaizena add-on for Google Docs

You may have heard of them before as they have another similar tool that allows you to give verbal feedback. This new tool from them is, I think, really helpful. To access this add-on to your Google Docs simply by visiting the link here and then turning it on within Google Docs.

Please note this only works in Chrome, not in iOS apps

Leaving audio feedback is really simple and very similar to what you would normally do with comments within Google Docs. The beauty of it is that you can be far more efficient with your feedback and marking time because you can say so much more than you can compared to typing. Give it a try!

Guest recommended teaching and learning resource

Graham Andre

The App that I am going to recommend is a great little app called ‘Toontastic 3D’ (not to be confused with the Newcastle FC forum board). This was originally a paid for app but Google bought out the original developers ‘Launchpad Toys’ and it is now free.

This app allows children to use their imagination, it allows them to create a story in three or five parts or even a science project (surely more fun than creating a poster or Powerpoint).

The learner dashboard in the 'Toontastic 3D' app

Children can create their own backgrounds or characters or use those already available, which number quite a few and are fully interactive. As children create their story they can then animate the characters and record dialogue to go with the action, great for speaking and listening. Background music can also be added by using a slider to suit the mood of the scene. Once the story has been created you sit back and watch it just like being at the cinema, it even includes credits! Google are looking to add more characters, storyboards and backgrounds in the future but until then the only thing stopping your children from creating a brilliant animation is their own imaginations. This great little app is truly cross curricular and ticks so many objectives.

Above is a great example made by Nanci, a Year 4 pupil in Graham's school where she recounts the story of the Titanic.

Thanks to Graham for sharing this brilliant, creative app for use in the classroom. Don't forget to follow him @grahamandre for more ideas, sharing and ramblings
Recommended book

The How I Wish I'd Taught Maths by Craig Barton

Recently released out of the John Catt stable, this book is just epic. Whether you're a seasoned Maths teacher or new to the job, this book is full of brilliant examples and Barton's 'Takeaways' and 'Further inspiration' across every aspect.

What impresses me most about Barton's book is that it takes the same approach as we do with technology - you start with the learning. Each section is broken down into key elements (and he goes through a lot of them - the book has significant 'thud factor' given its 451 pages) which makes it a book that, whilst its main focus is Maths, actually make it a great read for non Maths specialists too as there is so much that is applicable across the curriculum.

That said, as you'd expect there are a lot of worked examples that link directly to the teaching of Maths. The book makes reference to different exam boards and works through examples linked to those too. It really has been done in a very thorough manner. Given alongside Barton's day job he is responsible for the brilliant diagnosticquestions.com and his other site mrbartonmaths.com he's clearly no slacker and the book reflects that well.

To sum up, a great read deeply reinforced with research-informed methods. A no brainer for teachers of Maths and of interest to others who might be looking for upping their knowledge game when it comes to a no-nonsense, 'what works' approach to teaching and learning in the classroom.

Blog post of the month

Three areas where edtech can help you and ways to do it...

Using technology to help me be more efficient as a teacher has been a staple of my career. Whether its rules in Outlook to help me filter and organise my email (you can do this in GMail too) or simple use of cloud services to save repetitive work, this post explores different ways that you can use simple tools in edtech to help you be:

  • More efficient
  • More productive
  • More effective with your feedback
  • and more...


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.

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


Created By
Mark Anderson


Created with images by HerryLawford - "Wine & Spirit Fair" • skeeze - "snow forest winter" • Nietjuh - "pencil education school" • Photo-Mix - "twitter social media communication" • Matchbox-Marketing - "isle of wight needles coastline water" • Courtney Corlew - "untitled image" • Heidi Sandstrom. - "untitled image"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.