Digitus Bitesize Magazine

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Digitus Bitesize VOLUME 1 - SUMMER 2012 A Digital Literacy Magazine for Teachers TECHNOLOGY & E-LEARNING IN TEACHING

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A Hull College magazine about Technology & TEaching

Transcript of Digitus Bitesize Magazine

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Digitus Bitesize


A Digital Literacy Magazine for Teachers




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Digitus Bitesize

Technology & E-Learning for Teaching!

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Welcome to the new technology and learning magazine. This collection of articles, from peers within the college, looks to share experiences of using technology and e-learning in teaching. The whole ethos of ‘Bitesize’ is to deliver manageable chunks that you the reader can take away and use where and how you see fit. We have tried to cover a range or technologies and have provided some real life examples of where the use of technology has had an impact.

Technology has become more important in our everyday lives and as such we are living in exponential times. As a nation we are currently struggling with a poor economy, growing competition from developing countries and a shift in industry and the global marketplace. E-Business’s are growing and we are in danger of not providing our learners with the correct skills and knowledge to be able to compete on an equal level to global competitors. Embedding Digital Literacy now will have and impact on this and prepare these earners for the jobs that don't even exist yet.

I was recently asked ‘Do good teachers need to use technology?’ You could argue that good teachers shouldn't have to and maybe learning can still take place without the use of technology. Where i agree that the embedding of technology should not be used as a ‘filler’ or something to pass time i am firm in the belief that using technology can promote positive behaviors amongst learners as well as provide a foundation to Digital Literacy for learners futures. But don’t just take my word for it. The proof is right here in this magazine! Maybe you disagree? I would love to hear from you, until then please enjoy the magazine! Ross Anderson - Editor Email Us!

(Please note: This magazine has been optimised for use with iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Other devices will not be able to use the full interactive feature.)

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Computer Tablets In A Nutshell - Rick Gilroy

Rick Gilroy is an experienced construction tutor at Hull College with a passion for all things technology. He has been able to embed every day technology within his teaching, with a focus on instructional videos for his learners. Along with colleague, Mike Abel, the pair have presented their experiences in peer training sessions and after a recent JISC E-Learning conference they have received a lot of positive feedback about their work with several organisations showing interest in their approaches.

Rick writes - Our instructional videos were very dated myself and a colleague Mike Abel decided to film and make our own in- house videos that would offer learners a familiar learning experience. Once complete, the idea would be to put the videos on our Moodle page as an extra learning aid for our learners to access as and when they needed. The next logical step following on from this was to transfer the videos to a portable mobile device, such as the Apple IPad and Motorola Xoom. We tested a range of similar devices but found these were the most effective for our needs. We are now able to show the learners the videos near the simulated rigs in the workshop which not only provides that familiar environment but also helps them visualise the task.

We quickly learned our learners had smartphones and decided to use QR codes to support these videos. QR codes were printed and attached near the appropriate machinery or areas and they allowed the learners to scan and

Digitus Bitesize



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download the videos direct to their mobile devices. This has allowed the learners to view and learn on the go whilst embedding basic digital literacy skills. It also provides our learners with a sense of ownership as they use their devices.

Further to this, to make the lessons more interesting, we have begun to incorporate the use of construction related apps to help with additional learning. So far this is working well and we have found this generates interest whilst also helping build rapport with our learners.

Ricky & Mike have a lot of interest with this project and are happy to share their experiences. If you are interested in more information click here.


An example of one of many videos available to students on the Construction Moodle page

Movie 1.1 Laying Softwood Flooring

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EBSCOhost - Chris Skerrow

This is one of Hull College’s eResources, providing access to millions of journal articles online. It’s available via an app for Apple and Android devices (mobile phones and tablets), which lets you:

Access EBSCOhost’s databases without having to log in every time

Search for, view and save journal articles in way that’s optimised for smaller screens

To use this app, follow these steps:

1. Get the EBSCOhost app from iTunes or Google Play

2. Go to http://tinyurl.com/hcukebsco and click on the ‘EBSCOhost iPhone and Android Applications’ link at the bottom of the page. (If you’re not on a College computer, you’ll need to log in first)

3. Type in your email address

4. You will be sent an email including an authentication link. Open the email on the device you intend to use and open the link

5. EBSCOhost is now ready to use. Your authentication will last for 9 months, after which you’ll need to follow steps 2 – 4 again.


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The Blaggers Guide To Digital Literacy - Ross Anderson

Technology has always been a passion for me even since the days of using my dads BBC Micro computer! I remember vividly borrowing a book about programming from the library then spending hours typing away to create a basic game. The game was like Pong, the classic tennis game. After about 10 minutes the game abruptly crashed and that was it, frustration! My game was lost and a sunny afternoon wasted.

However i am happy to say this did not deter me. For i am here sitting writing this article on my laptop on some new software that is as alien to me as the original computer programming. If anything these occurrences spur me on and i take an ‘adapt and overcome’ approach. I have also been quite lucky as most of my jobs over the years have involved using technology extensively for a range of jobs, but interesting only recently have i seen the benefits of using technology within teaching. Yes, i’ve been called ‘nerd’, ‘dweeb’ and of course a ‘geek’! Well i am proud to be a geek but i can tell you now that you don’t have to be a geek to use technology. In fact if you use it in teaching you can be called ‘ground-breaking’, ‘inspirational’ or even ‘outstanding’.

Ofsted comparisons aside, using technology is easy. Learning how to use technology is straight forward and logical, after all technology is a logic based system. The tricky part is using it for a purpose that will result in learning taking place. A blaggers guide takes a simple approach thats not just about you but its about involving your learners and let them take the lead, some

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Digital Literacy


A presentation about The Blaggers Guide To Digital Literacy - Ross Anderson (Touch to advance)

Interactive Guide

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classic discovery learning. A simple nod of the head or ‘yes thats great’ are sometimes enough to satisfy your learners whilst using technology, but meanwhile you have reaped the reward of your own knowledge gained. A simple reflection later and your ready to take if further. I respect that technology is not for everyone but as teachers we have to meet the needs of our learners. If that means doing something that we are not comfortable with then so be it. We have to push boundaries, if not we remain stale and out-of-date and thus become ineffective in meeting the aspirations of new generations.

Embedding Digital Literacy – Thoughts from attending Digitus Bitesize training. - Liz Cullen

I’ve attended three of the digitus bitesize training events had have been inspired to try out some of the ideas with my class with great success, here is a summary of some of the ideas:

• I was convinced to try experimenting with using blogging as a way of recording learners diaries and reflections (I’ve never blogged before –and Wordpress did seem a bit daunting at first but with a bit of playing around I have the basics set up. It goes ‘live’ with our learners next week, so we’ll be reviewing its effectiveness at engaging our learners in writing in an couple of weeks.

• We have been using our mobile phones in class productively (yes really!!)

• I’ve been recommended some great websites (try Truetube for resources).

• I have had some really positive sessions creating a mini Health & Safety video with my group, which has embedded not only ICT but also literacy. We made story boards and scripts and

developed our communication and presentation skills (we’ve also be able to do some comedy acting and play with fake blood!) Editing is next week – again new to me, but I’ve been assured that it is very straight forward!

• I’ve also made a personal pledge to work on our Moodle page over the summer – a project long over due.

I can honestly say the training sessions are inspiring, practical and short and sweet, I thoroughly recommend anyone to join in the digital revolution, even if you only

take one point from them to try out with your groups. By the way I am certainly not a tech geek – I don’t even have a TV at home!


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Games Based Learning - Ross Anderson

I am sometimes ridiculed for my belief that using games or video games in sessions is an effective educational statement. I am here today to tell you that they are! Games have existed in the world for hundreds of thousands of years and share many similarities over the generations. They are fun, they are competitive and they are collaborative. Look aside if you will to the fact that usually there is a loser, cheating or bad sportsmanship but instead focus on the benefits of Games Based Learning. It may be correct that certain video games and boards games contain no subject specific learning such as focusing on drugs education or how to cut hair, but instead they provide the opportunity to work on basic skills such as numeracy, literacy, communication, social skills and even work related skills. Take for example Monopoly. A game that has evolved with numerous versions and is still popular today. The object ? - to win

by making money and making others bankrupt, ironic in todays economy I know! However when you scratch the surface and extract the learning you will be surprised. The game challenges the learners to read cards and process information. It requires the player to use

numeracy to add up and work out rents and fines as well as teaching learners to communicate and collaborate. The skills of bargaining and reasoning and remaining cool under pressure could be applied to the world of work and employability. Best of all its fun and engaging. Other conversation topics can be added as additional learning and its versatile enough for learners to create

their own version related to a specific subject. But what about the future? What about digital games? Sure there are numerous learning games our there. The Glow Project in Scottish schools is representative of that and the work by Marc Prensky provides education reasoning. But what else? Digital Games, such as those on current games consoles may not be educational on their own but can embedded as the ‘fun’ factor in sessions. Getting a top timed lap on the Top Gear track in a Bugatti Veyron adds nothing to teaching ICT other than a way to generate data for a spreadsheet. Playing a game of Xbox Kinect Tennis or Darts adds nothing to functional skills other than numbers that can be used for Math's and an experience that could be written about in English. The list goes on. However! The main difference these games add are some of the most important foundations for teaching. Fun, Motivation, Collaboration, Engagement, Self-Reliance and Ownership.


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You be the Judge - Lucy Boast

You be the judge is an interactive site that allows the students to watch 3 different cases in court. They get all the information surrounding the cases and then they are given 3 alternative sentences for each case. The students discuss as a group what sentence they would give the person taking into account all of the information given to them and choose the sentence they feel fits the crime. The cases used are examples of real crimes with

sentences that could be handed out. The site should be trailed first to judge the appropriateness of each case with your group but it is ideal as a starter or even as a main activity to be supported with other work;


Issuu is a website dedicated to online magazines and E-Books. The user creates a document in Word, Power-point or as a PDF and uploads to a free account. From their the user can edit the document further by adding interactive links and boxes that can

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Web-based Learning


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steer the readers to different resources. These created e-books or e-mags can then be provided free or sold on the marketplace. This is especially useful when you consider the education involvement. Learners could create a text book or learning resource of all the knowledge they have gained so far. This could be summarised in an Ebook that links to important resources on a website or even Moodle. The benefits go further by using it to create an interactive recipe book that links to video demos on Youtube. The book could be sold and the money put towards a student experience. Alternatively your learners could use it to create a newsletter or digital poster that can be accessed in a myriad of ways.


Wordpress is a blogging website. Blogging is the pre-cursor to the social networking revolution. It is a way to create learning

communities and collaboration is a key part of learning especially when one considers one considers Humanist and Cognitivist theories. Blogs allow users to create an online timeline of learning as well as ways for teachers and students to interact with each other away from the confines of a classroom. A Blog is a powerful tool that can be used to evaluate learning, track student progress, engage with learners and communicate information two ways.


Sploder is a free site dedicated to game design. Users can create their own drag and drop platformer, puzzle game or classic shooter. Nearly everything is customisable from the players, power ups, enemies and game objectives. Users can create level after level of fun and frustration and once a game has been made it can be played and even downloaded. Or if you prefer it can create a link to be embedded on your own website. This website is a lot of fun and introduces learners to the very basics of game design and can be linked to several topics. Try it.....you might like it!


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Kaywa QR Code Generator

Quite straight forward with endless uses. You may seen the black squares on just about everything from toilet roll to champagne. Simply use a QR reader on your mobile phone (free to download from most app stores) and scan the image. The image is simply a link to either a URL, text, phone number or SMS. This is a great method to signpost vital resources for your learners. Perhaps use it to give learners links to websites, create a treasure hunt or create some generic ones that be placed on learners work with links to positive feedback.

Try this one -

10 Websites to transform a lesson - Ross Anderson

With the internet nearly at saturation point and many terrible websites its hard to find those sites that can actually impact on learning in a positive way. This collection of sites does not confess to being the oracle nor will it be a lesson in one shot. However what it will do is provide interesting ways to embed digital literacy and hopefully provide something fun and interesting as well. I do recommend having a dry run on the websites as at time of print things may change. I have included the presentation of the websites with some useful bullets as to where they may best fit. If you wish to discuss the sites further or perhaps you have some of your own recommendations then please contact me here.


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Photo Express Editor - Photoshop

Recruitment Tests - Army.mod.uk

Large Posters - Block Posters

Citizenship Videos - Truetube

Blogging - Wordpress

Personal Finance Training - Natwest Moneysense

Moodle (See your institution)

Social Network for Schools - Edmodo

Instructional Videos - Videojug

Inspirational Videos - TED


Please touch the presentation to advance the slide. (iPad users only)

10 Websites to Transform A Lesson

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Electronic ILP and student tracking system (ProMonitor and ProPortal) - Lesley Hawkins

The College Group have been piloting an Electronic ILP system at Hull, Goole and Harrogate since Easter, with teams from Foundation Learning, the Academic Centre and Public Services. We have been using ProMonitor supplied by Compass Computer Consultants, who also supply ProAchieve. The system enables pastoral and academic information to be held in relation to our students, importing data from QL, and supplementing this with information added directly by staff and students within ProMonitor. It also allows for student related information to be available from one place including progress tracking, SMART targets, and student and staff comments. The current pilot system has been concerned only with the implementation of the student ILP pages and initial tutorial meetings. The vision is to have a “one stop shop” for central, accessible information enabling staff in all areas to better support students. Students should

be enabled to overcome disclosed barriers or issues, allowing them to take control of their learning and complete their courses and gain the best possible personal outcome. In addition we aim to develop a system that supports improved communication between teams and departments, enabling improved individual student support, thus assisting with retention and achievement including positive stretch and challenge. The pilot has progressed well, and I am looking forward to developing this more in the coming months.

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Survey Monkey

This is a great way to embed a bit of digital literacy in your sessions. You can sign up for a free account, although there are some limitations such as 10 questions per survey, however this should be enough for most basic quizzes or surveys. It also allows great interaction with Facebook and Twitter for a more connected approach and if you have your own website or blog then it can be easily embedded into that as well. The basic account is free but if you find it invaluable then there are some great monthly and yearly packages.

Simply create a survey on just about anything you want and share the questions with your learners. This is a great way to get feedback or test your learners knowledge gained. Perhaps even

get your learners to create their own surveys for other students.


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Digital Cameras have been around now for many years. They are now becoming even more affordable and feature rich. In the past we have used cameras in Education as a simple way to generate evidence for work completed by the learners. Also we have used them as a way to capture moments in the classroom or on trips.

The time has come for us, as teachers to look outside the box and use Cameras for other purposes. One simple method is to use cameras in some sort of treasure hunt. Give your learners clues to follow and ask them to take pictures to prove they have visited them. This provides learners with a hands on experience and embeds basic use of digital cameras. This could be taken one step further by encouraging learners to use their mobile phone cameras and then text or email the photos to you. Using cameras to create a photo diary can also be useful. Taking pictures at regular intervals could show progression and is especially useful when cooking recipes or creating art pieces. This could be built on by using the pictures to evaluate the learners performance of creating a recipe book.

More advanced techniques could involve using the digital cameras for creating animations. A small tripod attached to the camera would help keep it steady and some creativity with materials would create a stop-go animation. The photos can be imported straight into Windows Movie Maker and….Kappow! You have created an animation. This could be used to create a sketch or demonstrate a certain point of learning like health and safety in the workshop.

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Beginners Guide


Join us for the next issue when we will have a more interactive Beginners guide. We would like to here from you about what you think we should cover.

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Modern Mobile Phone

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Technology Focus


What does it do: Makes phone calls, texts, allows access to the internet, has a camera, plays music, allows typing of information, has a calendar and plays games

Who is it made for: Everyone who wants one

When should it be used: They are usually used as social tools but to benefit education they should be used with strict guidelines about how many

phones are allowed, when they will be used and what it is you are using them for.

Does it meet the needs of the user: For the social aspect it meets the needs of the student and there are many potential ways to use it for the benefit of education

and the teacher. The issue is mostly going to be getting the student to use it educationally.

Is it reliable: This depends on the age and capabilities of the phone for getting involved. Also if you use the internet in any of the activities it is worthwhile testing it for signal issues.

Is it easy to use: Relatively, because as a teacher all you have to do is understand what phones people are willing to use and what they can do. It is then the students responsibility to actually use the phones.

Does it cost anything: Some aspects may cost money for texts or internet usage. For this though just check beforehand who has no restrictions on


What unique features does it have: A modern mobile phone can do most of the things computers can plus more things as mentioned at the start.

What alternatives are there to this:

The modern mobile phone though innovative and very valuable for education is still linked to individual students socially and there will always be temptation for students to not follow your instructions. As such the best alternative would be a company owned tablet or mobile phone that has restricted wifi access; this would provide all the opportunities you need with very little distractions.

Adrian Streather looks at 3 different technologies that can be used in the classroom and evaluates them.

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Prezi - Online Presentation Software


What does it do: It allows you to create and run presentations on the internet in a fresh new way or download them to run away from an internet connection.

Who is it made for: Anyone that can find a use or reason to present information electronically. I have seen this used at major conferences, within instructional videos and also used as a digital CV.

When should it be used: Anywhere that you have access to a computer, preferably with a projected screen so that more people can be involved but this isn’t essential.

Does it meet the needs of the user: If you can overcome the harsh learning curve which I will discuss a bit later then yes it would seem that the potential for what it

can do is vast and can be tailored to create the kind of ‘journey’ that you want.

Is it reliable:So far I have created 2 presentations and used it on-line for nearly 10 presentations with no issues and it is good that you can download a copy just in case you lose or have no internet connection. If however all of your technology fails, for example in a power cut, then this will not be quite as effective because you will be pointing to a black screen whilst standing in the dark with no easily usable backup

Is it easy to use:

No, to put it simply. For all it’s freshness and innovation to learn to use this is a bit like being locked in a submarine on the seabed with lots of buttons and not much idea what they do until you press them. It is more easily accessible to those people who have started to master the tablets and touch screen phones because there are similarities, but I am afraid that with minimal support this might turn off the people that need it the most; the core teachers of this world that aren’t all that comfortable with modern technology.

Does it cost anything: There are different tiered packages but the free one is perfect for even the most adventurous presentation maker.

What unique features does it have:

It is fresh and simplifies presentationsIt has a zooming feature which allows you to create a ‘journey’There are some amazing possibilities, given time and patience.Also I like the fact that you don’t have to carry the presentation around as it is hosted on the internet and accessible from anywhere in the world that has a connection.

What alternatives are there to this: The main rival to this is of course the tried and tested Powerpoint which, of course, is still more than suitable for purpose and if

used correctly is as powerful as Prezi but it doesn’t have the zooming feature.

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Interactive Whiteboard


What does it do:For decades we have used chalk and black boards for educational purposes and now we use whiteboards and dry wipe markers. This new board was designed to enhance that experience further by allowing you to store whatever you write to return to later, it allows you to incorporate videos, music and pictures easily into lessons. Using an Activpen you can use it like a big computer monitor and allow students to use the pen like a mouse to interact with activities, games or just to write or draw.

Who is it made for: It is mainly made for the teacher to use in classes but is easily picked up by students to enhance their own learning.

When should it be used: During classes within the classroom, due to it’s size and power needs it isn’t very portable.

Does it meet the needs of the user: As a whiteboard with extra features this most definitely suits the users needs because you can conduct all of your lesson

materials on it with powerpoints, documents, pictures and just plain writing.

Is it reliable: Reliability is not one of it’s greatest strong points because there are many different parts to it. For a fully interactive session you need a fully working interactive whiteboard, projector, speakers, interactive pen and the correct wiring. With so many variables it is easy for one part to fail and cause issues for the rest.

Is it easy to use: You can use the basic aspects with minimal training but with deeper training or experimentation you can learn to do a lot more things.

Does it cost anything: To set-up one of these can cost thousands of pounds and then repair or maintenance costs are extremely expensive with a projector bulb costing £300.

What unique features does it have:

The ability to interact with a whiteboardSave and revisit lesson notesUse internet, video and audio files

What alternatives are there to this:

Chalk boardWhiteboardMore advanced whiteboards that do not require a pen and also allow other device to interact with it such as ‘tablet’ PC’s